India's Delhi chief minister opens case against Reliance chairman over gas pricing

by Reuters
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 11:15 GMT

(Corrects headline and first paragraph to show investigation, not case filing, was ordered)

NEW DELHI, Feb 11 (Reuters) - India's Delhi state chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday he has asked for an investigation to be launched into Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani and policymakers over pricing of gas produced from the D6 block in the east coast.

"Today we have instructed the anti-corruption branch to file a criminal case against Murli Deora, FIRs against Veerappa Moily, V.K. Sibal, the (then) director general of hydrocarbons, Reliance Industries Ltd Chairman Mukesh Ambani and others," Kejriwal told a press conference.

A FIR, or First Information Report, is the first stage of an official investigation into a complaint.

Reliance had initially agreed to supply gas to utility NTPC Ltd at about $2.3 per million British thermal units (mBtu) for about 17 years, Kejriwal said.

But price of gas from the D6 block was fixed at $4.2 per mBtu when Deora was oil minister.

Last year, after Moily took over as oil minister, the federal government agreed to link prices with global indexes, which could double the local gas prices from April 1 this year.

Kejriwal said he would ask the federal government to suspend the latest order on gas pricing pending an inquiry.

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma)

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