Kejriwal govt orders criminal cases against Veerappa Moily, Mukesh Ambani, Murli Deora over gas pricing

Mukesh-Ambani,-Veerappa-Moily,-Murli-Deora

New Delhi, Feb 11: Delhi Government Tuesday ordered filing of criminal cases against Union minister Veerappa Moily, former minister Murli Deora, Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani and others following complaints of irregularities in pricing of natural gas in KG basin.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) of Delhi Government has been asked to probe the matter based on a complaint filed by former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subrmanian, Admiral Tahiliani, former Navy Chief and eminent lawyer Kamini Jaiswal besides a former Expenditure Secretary.

“Today we have asked the ACB to probe the case. We are filing a criminal case against Murli Deora. FIRs are being filed against Moily, Mukesh Ambani former DG of Hydrocarbons V K Sibal, Reliance Industries Ltd and others,” he said addressing a press conference here.

Without explaining whether Delhi Government has jurisdiction to probe the case, Kejriwal alleged that Reliance Industries Ltd was benefited as Oil Ministry decided to hike the natural gas price to USD 8 per million British thermal unit as against current USD 4.2 from April 1.

He alleged that RIL did not produce adequate gas from eastern offshore KG basin block so as to put pressure on the government to hike the price.

Reliance did not offer any immediate comments on the issue.

The government has already approved a proposal to price domestic gas at an average of international gas hub prices and actual cost of importing gas in its liquid form into India.

The Chief Minister said hiking the price of natural gas will have a “cascading effect” on the economy as rates of transportation, power production, fertilisers and food items will go up significantly.

“I am writing to Prime Minister and the Oil Minister to kept the decision in abeyance pending the probe. I will also request PM to direct all ministries to cooperate with the probe,” Kejriwal said.

He said the complaint alleged “collusion between some Union ministers and Reliance Industries Ltd” that purportedly resulted in the decision to double the gas price from April 1.

The Chief Minister did not answer when asked whether Delhi Government has jurisdiction to probe the matter. PTI