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Updated: September 9, 2013 17:13 IST

SC judge recuses himself from PIL on gas price hike

PTI
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Supreme Court Judge H L Dattu who has recused himself from hearing a PIL against the Centre and RIL on the hike in natural gas prices. Photo H Vibhu
The Hindu Supreme Court Judge H L Dattu who has recused himself from hearing a PIL against the Centre and RIL on the hike in natural gas prices. Photo H Vibhu

Supreme Court Judge H L Dattu on Monday recused himself from hearing a plea against the Centre and Reliance Industries Ltd on the government’s controversial decision to raise the price of natural gas.

“Not before me,” Justice Dattu said when a PIL, filed by civil society members including former Cabinet Secretary T S R Subramanian and ex-Naval chief Admiral L Ramdas, came up for hearing before a bench headed by him.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner submitted that a similar matter was pending before a bench headed by the Chief Justice and pleaded that the matter be also transferred to that bench.

Justice Dattu, however, refused to pass any order and said, without giving any reason, that he could not hear the case.

Alleging a “collusion between Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and the political establishment,” the petitioners sought an inquiry on why the Centre did not take any action against the company for its misconduct.

“Issue order directing a thorough investigation by an SIT or CBI under the supervision of this court, into the high level collusion between RIL and the political establishment and the corruption involved, as has been highlighted in the instant petition, including on the aspects of not taking any action against RIL for its misconduct,” the petitioners said in the PIL.

The petitioners, who included former Water Resources Secretary Ramaswamy Iyer and NGO Common Cause, also sought a direction for a thorough audit by CAG of the working of the PSC governing KG block, gold plating by RIL, the underproduction by RIL and all related issues. A similar petition was earlier filed by CPI MP Gurudas Dasgupta and the apex court had on July 29 issued notice to the Centre and RIL.

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