Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday ordered the filing of an FIR against Union Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily, former Minister Murli Deora, Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani and former Director General of Hydrocarbons V.K. Sibal for alleged collusion in fixing natural gas price through hoarding in the KG basin D-6 block.
Acting on a 100-page “common complaint” by former Cabinet Secretary T.S.R. Subramanian, former Navy Chief Admiral R.H. Tahiliani, Supreme Court lawyer Kamini Jaiswal and former Expenditure Secretary E.A.S. Sarma, the Chief Minister instructed the government’s Anti-Corruption Branch to probe the matter under relevant provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The move drew an immediate response from Mr. Moily, who said the Chief Minister did not know how the government functions and that fixing of prices of petroleum products was done on expert advice. Describing the decision as shocking, RIL said the complaint and each of the allegations on the basis of which the government had taken action were “completely baseless and devoid of any merit or substance whatsoever.”
The allegations include inflating gas prices much above the cost of production and keeping production much below the capacity to seek upward revision. Quoting the complaint, Mr. Kejriwal also questioned the need to fix gas prices in U.S. dollars when the entire production was being consumed internally.