Government drags NTPC into Ambani brothers' gas war

Mumbai: The legal battle over gas supply between Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and Reliance Natural Resources Ltd (RNRL) took an unexpected turn with the government, which intervened in the dispute, submitting that NTPC has not concluded an agreement with RIL.

Government lawyer T S Doabia said NTPC, which is fighting a separate case with RIL on the same issue, has not ''concluded'' a deal with RIL so far.

The submission which may significantly weaken the case of NTPC, has invited the wrath of NTPC, which has always been claiming of an existing contract with RIL for supply of gas from the Krishna-Godavari basin for RNRL's two power plants in Gujarat.

NTPC chairman and managing director RS Sharma and power secretary Anil Razdan said the statement made by the government lawyer in the RIL-RNRL case is false and misleading and said the company's counsel would strongly refute the statement.

The government counsel was not representing NTPC and, therefore, his comments will have no bearing on the company's on-going legal tussle with RIL, he added.

NTPC's case with RIL dates back to December 2005 and involves the supply of 12 million standard cu.m of gas per day (mscmd) to NTPC for 17 years.