Anil Ambani shows up in SC; claims 'deepest regard' for judiciary

Billionaire industrialist Anil Ambani today marked a surprise presence in the Supreme Court for the ongoing hearing of the gas price dispute row between his company Reliance Natural Resources Ltd and his brother Mukesh's Reliance Industries Ltd, which produces the disputed gas from its Krishna-Godavari Basin block.

Anil Ambani"My presence in the Hon'ble Supreme Court today reflects my deepest regard for our judiciary," the junior Ambani told the media after emerging out of the courtroom where a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan is hearing the case.

"I have come here today not just on my own behalf but on behalf of nearly 11 million shareholders of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group - the largest shareholding family in the world-whose interests will be directly affected by the outcome of this case," he said.

The bench, which also comprises Justice B. Sudershan Reddy and Justice P. Sathasivam, is hearing the dispute over the supply of 28 million units of gas for 17 years at $2.34 per unit to RNRL from the gas fields off the Andhra Pradesh coast, awarded to RIL.

RNRL is seeking gas at $2.34 per unit as envisaged in a 2005 family re-organisation agreement, but RIL says it cannot honour the commitment due to the government's pricing and distribution policies.

The Bombay High Court had given its verdict in favour of RNRL, but RIL subsequently challenged it in the apex court.

NTPC tells government to protect its interest.

The National Thermal Power Corp has written to the ministry of power asking it to protect its interest in the Supreme Court case between RIL and RNRL, which also involves the government and NTPC, the state-owned power producer.

NTPC is itself fighting a similar case over gas supply from KG basin with RIL in the Bombay High Court. The case pertains to supply of 12 mmscmd of KG gas for a period of 17 years at a price of $2.34 per mmbtu for expansion projects of NTPC's Kawas and Gandhar plants in Gujarat.