Says it is for PM and Cabinet to challenge FIRs filed by Kejriwal

Ruling out any second thoughts on raising natural gas prices from the current $4.2 to $8 to 8.4 mbtu from April, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Veerappa Moily on Friday said it was for the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Cabinet to take a call on challenging the “unconstitutional” FIR lodged against him and some others.

Talking to journalists on the sidelines of a function here, Mr. Moily lashed out at the Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal for ordering FIRs against him.

Mr. Kejriwal has also written to Dr. Singh seeking to put the gas price hike on hold till investigations are completed in the FIRs lodged by the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) of Delhi government.

Cabinet nod

“Where is the question of stalling or stopping anything. The decision has been taken for private and public sectors and has gone through a governance process. It was considered by Cabinet twice and approved twice [first in June 2013 and then December],” he said.

In fact, Mr. Moily said the new rates were based on the recommendations of the Rangarajan Committee appointed by Prime Minister himself.

Earlier this week, Mr. Kejriwal ordered filing of a police complaint against Mr. Moily, Reliance Industries Limited and its chairman Mukesh Ambani and the former Petroleum Minister, Murli Deora, for creating an artificial shortage of gas and raising prices.

“I don’t think Delhi government is our appellate authority. What they are doing is totally unconstitutional. And it is definitely against the principles of federalism,” Mr. Moily remarked. The FIR was a very clear case that they are exercising powers which are extra-constitutional and rather contrary to constitutional provisions, the Minister added.

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