Government may modify stand on RIL-RNRL dispute: report

After Anil Ambani's open charge of favouring RIL against petroleum minister Murli Deora yesterday, the government may be forced to seek the Supreme Court's permission to modify its special leave petition that it filed in the RIL-RNRL case, according to an NDTV report quoting unnamed sources.

The government also wants to modify its stand on NTPC versus Reliance Industries case in the petition, they said. The modification may be related to the gas price at which RIL won the NTPC bid.

The sources further added that the government would clarify its role in the Ambani gas dispute to the Supreme Court.

The fight between the brothers Mukesh and Anil Ambani, who control RIL and Reliance Natural Resources Ltd, boiled over this week when Anil publicly accused petroleum minister Murli Deora of siding with Mukesh Ambani over the pricing of Krishna-Godavari basin gas being pumped by RIL. The case will be heard by the Supreme Court on 1 September.

Anil Ambani accused the oil ministry of colluding with RIL after the government filed a petition in the apex court claiming its sovereign rights over the gas. ''The bogey of sovereign ownership is being raised with the sole purpose of attempting to bail out RIL and help them renege on their contractual commitments,'' Anil Ambani said.

On Wednesday, Anil Ambani said RNRL would on Thursday approach Supreme Court seeking final hearing on the matter on 1 September. The company separately served notices to RIL and the petroleum ministry.