Delhi Government Orders Criminal Cases Against Moily, Mukesh Ambani - The New Indian Express

Delhi Government Orders Criminal Cases Against Moily, Mukesh Ambani

Published: 11th February 2014 01:03 PM

Last Updated: 11th February 2014 07:35 PM

Delhi Government today ordered filing of criminal cases against Union minister Veerappa Moily, former minister Murli Deora, Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani and others following complaints of irregularities in pricing of natural gas in KG basin.

Veerappa Moily
"I think I should sympathise with his ignorance. He should know how the government functions, how these things are done ... You should know that I took special interest to ensure that CNG and PNG prices were reduced," Moily said. "Kejriwal thinks that we can take out oil just like taking water from a well in a bucket, (but) we cannot take the oil like that," he added.           

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) of Delhi Government has been asked to probe the matter based on a complaint filed by former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subrmanian, Admiral Tahiliani, former Navy Chief and eminent lawyer Kamini Jaiswal besides a former Expenditure Secretary.

"Today we have asked the ACB to probe the case. We are filing a criminal case against Murli Deora. FIRs are being filed against Moily, Mukesh Ambani former DG of Hydrocarbons V K Sibal, Reliance Industries Ltd and others," he said addressing a press conference here.

Naresh Aggrawal
"This is a drama staged by inexperienced people to hide their inefficiency... This is 100 per cent a political witch-hunt," said SP leader Naresh Aggrawal.

Without explaining whether Delhi Government has jurisdiction to probe the case, Kejriwal alleged that Reliance Industries Ltd was benefited as Oil Ministry decided to hike the natural gas price to USD 8 per million British thermal unit as against current USD 4.2 from April 1.

Gurudas Dasgupta
"It is a loot of public money. (The government's decision to hike gas prices) will seriously affect the power and fertiliser sectors," said Dasgupta, CPI leader.   

He alleged that RIL did not produce adequate gas from eastern offshore KG basin block so as to put pressure on the government to hike the price.

Reliance did not offer any immediate comments on the issue.

The government has already approved a proposal to price domestic gas at an average of international gas hub prices and actual cost of importing gas in its liquid form into India.

Vijay Mallya
UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya, on the other hand, said that the Delhi Chief Minister was pursuing "unconventional methods" to attain his objectives while adding that there should be no "witch-hunt" against industrialists.        

The Chief Minister said hiking the price of natural gas will have a "cascading effect" on the economy as rates of transportation, power production, fertilisers and food items will go up significantly.

"I am writing to Prime Minister and the Oil Minister to kept the decision in abeyance pending the probe. I will also request PM to direct all ministries to cooperate with the probe," Kejriwal said.

He said the complaint alleged "collusion between some Union ministers and Reliance Industries Ltd" that purportedly resulted in the decision to double the gas price from April 1.

The Chief Minister did not answer when asked whether Delhi Government has jurisdiction to probe the matter.

Also read:

CAG Reports on K-G Basin Under PAC Review: Ministry Tells HC

RIL to Up KG-D6 Gas Output

Natural Gas Price To Go Up In 3 Years, to Generate More Revenue

Cairn India to Invest up to $750mn on KG-Basin Block Over 5yrs

SC agrees to hear plea for stay on RIL's arbitration petition

SC issues notice on NGO's plea on RIL's gas operations  

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