New Delhi, Feb 14 IBNS | 6 months ago

Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister M Veerappa Moily on Friday said the First Information Report (FIR) filed against him by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is "unconstitutional".


"The Delhi CM's FIR against me and others is unconstitutional," Moily told reporters.

Kejriwal on Wednesday denied reports that the FIR filed over gas pricing did not mention Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani and Moily.

"You have the wrong information. Murli Deora, Veerappa Moily, Mukesh Ambani and VK Sibal have all been named," Kejriwal told reporters here.

Kejriwal on Tuesday said he has ordered to register an FIR against Moily, former petroleum minister Murli Deora and RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani for conspiring to inflate the prices of gas in the capital.

However, media reports said the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Delhi government registered an FIR without naming any individual.

The FIR has been reportedly registered under sections dealing with criminal conspiracy, cheating and other sections of the Prevention Of Corruption Act.

Addressing a press conference here, Kejriwal on Tuesday said that the gas cartel led to the price rise and it should be investigated thoroughly.

He claimed that he has received complaint against RIL making windfall gains from the KG Basin deal.

"There is a complaint from 4 senior persons in my government against Reliance. They have complained that Reliance Industries was given gas wells a year ago. It cost less than one dollar, they were given for 17 years at 2.3 dollars, but after that they gave it for 4 dollars. They created an artificial shortage and gave just 18 percent gas. They have alleged that from coming April, they'll double the rate and give it for $ 8 per unit," Kejriwal said.

Attacking the ruling Congress and opposition parties, he alleged, "Gas lobby has bribed both the Congress and the opposition parties. Why are they keeping quiet?"

He said that if the gas price is hiked from Apr 1, the people will suffer and RIL will be benefitted by 54,000 crore per annum.

He said that the ACB will file FIR against Veerappa Moily, Mukesh Ambani, Murli Deora and others.

"The ACB is in the process of filing FIR against Murli Deora, Veerappa Moily, VK Sibal (former Director General of Hyderocarbons), Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Industries and others," he said.

Kejriwal also said that he will write to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to probe into the case and will ask him to take back gas wells from RIL.

"I will write letters to the Prime Minister and Veerappa Moily to look into the matter. The central government should take back gas wells from RIL," he said.

Reacting to his allegations, RIL on Tuesday denied charges made by the Delhi government headed by Chief Minister Arvind Kerjiwal in connection with the "inflated" prices of gas in the national capital.

Denying the charges, RIL said in a statement: "The direction of the Delhi Government to order the registration of an FIR in relation to the decision of Union Cabinet to revise the price of gas is indeed shocking. The complaint and each of the allegations on the basis of which the Delhi Government has taken such action are completely baseless and devoid of any merit or substance whatsoever."

"The allegations appear to have been made by persons who are also Petitioners in the Supreme Court of India in a petition in which similar allegations have been made. The issue of gas pricing is also a contentious issue between the contracting parties being the Government of India and the Contractors."

"We deny these irresponsible allegations and propose to resort to the available legal remedies to protect our reputation and preserve the pioneering efforts and investment made by Reliance so far. We also remain fully committed to the development of oil and gas sector in India within the parameters of law," it said.

(Posted on 14-02-2014)