Gas pricing: Reliance Industries 'favoured' by UPA, BJP keeping mum, says FIR

Feb 14 2014, 17:55 IST
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The FIR of the ACB placed before a Delhi court naming Veerappa Moily, Mukesh Ambani and others on gas pricing issue. Reuters The FIR of the ACB placed before a Delhi court naming Veerappa Moily, Mukesh Ambani and others on gas pricing issue. Reuters
SummaryReliance Industries too had termed the ordering of FIR against it as shocking.

The FIR of the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) placed before a Delhi court naming Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily, Mukesh Ambani and others on gas pricing issue alleged that the Congress-led UPA government "favoured" Reliance Industries Ltd with an eye on 2014 general elections and BJP is maintaining "silence" hoping to gain corporate funding for the polls.

"The fact that this decision (to raise gas price) was taken in advance by the present government shows that it wanted to favour RIL for corrupt considerations which would then help with the expenditure for the upcoming national elections.

"This is also the reason why the main opposition party, the BJP, is silent on the issue as during election time, when huge slush of funds is required by the major parties, no one is willing to speak against this decision even though price rise is normally an important political issue," the FIR said.

The five-page FIR with which annexures have been attached was lodged by the ACB of Delhi Government on a complaint sent to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal by former Cabinet Secretary T S R Subramanian, former Secretary E A S Sarma, former Navy Chief Admiral R H Tahiliani and advocate Kamini Jaiswal.

Besides Moily and RIL chairperson Ambani, former Petroleum Minister Murli Deora, ex-Director General of Hydrocarbons V K Sibal and other unknown persons have been named as accused in the case.

The FIR was lodged under sections 420 (cheating), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The complaint, on the basis of which the FIR was lodged, alleged that impact of gas price rise would cost the country a minimum of Rs 54,500 crore per year at current dollar price.

However, Moily today said the government will not go back on its decision to hike rates from April 1 and came down heavily against Kejriwal for ordering an "unconstitutional" FIR against him and others for raising gas prices.

RIL too had termed the ordering of FIR against it as shocking and described the complaints that were used to base the action as baseless and devoid of merit or substance.

"A contract dated April 12, 2000 was entered into between the Union of India and RIL and Niko Resources Ltd called a production sharing contract (PSC) for the exploration for natural gas and in case of any commercial discoveries, the development and the production of

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