Supreme Court bench recuses itself from petition against Cairn-Vedanta deal

A Supreme Court bench today recused itself from hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the validity of the $8.5-billion Cairn-Vedanta deal.

Without assigning any reason, a bench of justices H L Dattu and C K Prasad said it would not like to hear the matter and it should not be listed before them. It may be heard some other bench.

The PIL had also sought an audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) into several aspects of the deal and approvals.

The petition, filed on 27 February had also sought a CBI probe into reasons why the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and the government did ''not assert'' their legal rights in the issue.

It had also sought cancellation of the government's approval for the Cairn Energy-Vedanta deal on grounds that India would be losing over Rs100,000 crore.

The PIL, filed by a Bangalore resident Arun Kumar Agarwal, stated that the ONGC had a first right of refusal in case the Cairn Group wanted to sell its shares in Cairn India.