This Article is From Mar 26, 2014

Supreme Court directs government to probe Rs 6,500 crore investment in Reliance Industries

Supreme Court directs government to probe Rs 6,500 crore investment in Reliance Industries
New Delhi:
The Supreme Court, which is hearing petitions seeking cancellation of Reliance Industries' contract for exploration of oil and gas from Krishna-Godavari basin, on Wednesday wanted to know from the Centre about a probe into the alleged money laundering issue raised during the hearing.
 
"We want to know about it," a bench headed by justice B S Chauhan told Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran, who said the government had gone through it and would respond when it will argue the matter on its turn.
 
Prashant Bhushan, counsel of the NGO Common Cause, alleged all political parties were in collusion to help Mukesh Ambani-owned group Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL).
 
However, the bench, also comprising justices J Chelameswar and Kurian Joseph, said though it appeared to be an important issue, no political party raised it.
 
"Here also only individuals have approached us," the bench said, referring to the petition filed by senior CPI MP leader Gurudas Dasgupta and the NGO.
 
After senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the MP, concluded his arguments, Mr Bhushan, who was making the submission for the NGO, read out a letter written by the Indian High Commission in Singapore to the Centre relating to an investigation of investment of Rs 6,500 crore of money from a "one-room defunct" company in Singapore.
 
He claimed the High Commission had stated that Rs 6,530 crore have come into India from Bio Metrix Marketing Ltd., the one-room company in Singapore that does not do any business.
 
It was contended by him that this is a company with no assets, no equity and does not file income tax returns in Singapore claiming to be a small company.
 
The apex court had on March 11 commenced the hearing on the pleas challenging the government's decision to double the price of natural gas and seeking cancellation of RIL's contract for exploration of oil and gas from Krishna-Godavari basin.
 
RIL had refuted the allegation of extraneous consideration for the increase in gas price from $4.2 to $8.4 per mmbtu for the gas taken from the existing fields like KG D-6 basin.
 
PILs filed by senior CPI MP Gurudas Dasgupta and the NGO have sought imposition of penalty on private parties for failure to adhere to commitments.
 
The petitioners have also sought a direction for a thorough audit by CAG of the working of the production-sharing contract (PSC) governing KG block, gold plating by RIL, "underproduction" by RIL and all related issues.
 
The NGO has also filed an application seeking a direction to the Centre not to go ahead with its decision to double the gas price with effect from April 1.