The government today withdrew its affidavit in the Bombay High Court, filed in favour of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd, over the sale of natural gas from its Krishna Godavari basin fields.
The government in its affidavit had asserted that Reliance Industries cannot sell its Krishna-Godavari basin gas to anyone without its approval of the pricing formula.
Additional solicitor general Mohan Parasaran, appearing for the government, said the affidavit, filed during the hearings on the dispute between Mukesh Ambani-led RIL and younger brother Anil's group company RNRL, was being withdrawn.
The affidavit, filed by S M Sundaram, under secretary in the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, has been withdrawn on the suggestion of Justice J N Patel.
The government also fixed the gas price at $4.20 per million British thermal units. However, RNRL has challenged the government's price fixing formula by filing an affidavit in the Bombay High Court.
"Sale of gas at a price less than $4.20 per mmBtu is not envisaged as per the Empowered Group of Ministers' decision taken in accordance with Production Sharing Contract (between the government and RIL)," Sundaram had said in the affidavit.
RNRL's lawyer Ram Jethmalani also pressed for cross-examination of Sundaram after he filed the affidavit that said the price of RIL gas cannot be less than $4.20 per million British thermal units.
The court had, last week, agreed to summon Sundaram so that Jethmalani could cross-examine him.
A division bench of Justices J N Patel and K K Tated said the government might think of withdrawing the affidavits, since it had intervened only for the purpose of assisting the court.