The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to interfere with a Bombay High Court order permitting Mukesh Ambani group company Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) to amend its written statement before the High Court in the gas dispute suit with NTPC.

A three-Judge Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice B.S. Chauhan while disposing of the NTPC’s appeal against the High Court’s order permitted NTPC to file a replication (rejoinder) to deny the allegations, if any, in the written statement. The Bench asked the High Court to dispose of the suit expeditiously.

According to NTPC, as RIL after having arrived at an agreement to supply 132 trillion British thermal unit (tBtu) (12 million standard cubic metres a day — mscmd) gas at the price of $2.34 per million British thermal unit (mBtu) pursuant to the global competitive bidding sought to wriggle out and avoid the General Sales and Purchase Agreement (GSPA) on one pretext or the other, it filed a suit against RIL in the Bombay High Court for enforcement of the concluded GSPA.

RIL after filing its written statement and issues having been framed in the suit filed an application for amendments in the statements and this was allowed by a single judge and later confirmed by a Division Bench of the High Court.

The present Special Leave Petition (SLP) is directed against that order.

Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam, appearing for NTPC, submitted that no application for amendment could be allowed once the trial commenced.

He said “we are not concerned in the dispute between the two Ambani brothers as Union of India was not a party to the company proceedings.”

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