High Court rejects stay on D6 gas supply order

PTI New Delhi | Updated on May 10, 2011 Published on May 10, 2011

Essar Steel’s petition challenging the Centre’s decision to give top priority to fertiliser and power plants in the allocation of gas from RIL’s KG-D6 field suffered a setback today, with the Delhi High Court refusing to grant a stay for the time being.

Presiding over the hearing, Mr Justice S. Muralidhar said, “Right now I am not going to stay the (Centre’s) order,” after the Centre indicated that it would give its opinion on the plea after perusing the Bombay High Court’s order on a similar petition.

“Right now we cannot give an opinion without perusing the Bombay High Court order on the issue. We will have to take an instruction as well,” Additional Solicitor General, Mr A.S. Chandiok, told Mr Justice S. Muralidhar.

The matter has now been posted for further hearing on May 12, as the ASG sought time for responding to the petition.

The Centre’s response came on the petition of Essar Steel Ltd against the Centre’s order asking Reliance Industries to give top priority to fertiliser and power plants while supplying natural gas from KG basin fields.

Former Additional Solicitor General, Mr Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the private steel major, said the order of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas Resources was taken without considering its legitimate concerns.

The company has challenged two letters written by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to RIL and its partner Niko Resources of Canada to give core sectors priority while selling natural gas from its KG-D6 fields.

Essar Steel has submitted that the directions were “illegal and arbitrary” and they were sent to RIL without any approval of the Empowered Group of Ministers, which had originally allocated the gas among various players, including the steel sector.

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Published on May 10, 2011
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