Supreme Court dismisses Adani Gas’s plea

A file photo of Supreme Court of India in New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: SUBRAMANIUM S

The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal filed by Adani Gas against the authorisation given by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) to State-run Gujarat Gas to lay and maintain a gas distribution network in rural Ahmedabad.

Gujarat Gas had succeeded in securing the authorisation for setting up the network in Sanand, Bavla and Dholka in an auction held by the Board.

A three-judge Bench of Justices U.U. Lalit, S. Ravindra Bhat and Hrishikesh Roy, in a judgment pronounced on Tuesday, directed Adani to bear the costs of ₹10 lakh, payable to the Union of India.

“Adani’s claim is precluded by the principle of approbate-reprobate, as it accepted authorisation granted by PNGRB [including exclusion of disputed areas], furnished the performance bond and even participated in the auction for the excluded areas, and only thereafter challenged authorisation when its bid was unsuccessful. It is held that exclusion of the disputed areas was justified in the overall facts and circumstances,” Justice Bhat, who authored the 79-page judgment, observed.

Termination of PPA

This judgment comes days after the Supreme Court issued notice in a curative petition in a case filed by Gujarat Urja Vikas Limited (GUVL) against a July 2019 judgment of the apex court upholding the termination of a power purchase agreement (PPA) by Adani Power (Mundra) Limited.

The apex court exercises its curative jurisdiction only in extraordinary circumstances, primarily to prevent miscarriage of justice and abuse of process.

In its order on September 16, a five-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana issued notice in the GUVL curative while observing that it had “substantial questions of law” which needed answering. The court has listed the case to be heard in open court on September 30.

The case relates to Adani Power’s PPA termination with GUVL for the reason that the Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC) had failed to supply coal to it. A three-judge Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra (now retired) upheld the termination in 2019. Moreover, the Bench had held that Adani should be paid compensatory tariff in order to do “economic justice”.

This Adani case finds a mention along with another in a letter written by senior advocate Dushyant Dave to then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi in August 2019. Mr. Dave had traced the trajectory of the two cases - Parsa Kenta Collieries Ltd v. Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited and M/s Adani Power (Mundra) Ltd v. Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission and Ors - in his letter to express puzzlement at why they were listed in violation of established procedure during the court’s summer vacation before a particular Bench.

“Both these matters were listed, taken up and heard without any justification and in hurry and in an improper manner. As a result, besides causing grave injury to public interest and public revenue, it has caused immense damage to the image of the Supreme Court… It is disturbing that the Supreme Court of India should take up regular matters of a large corporate house during the summer vacation in such a cavalier fashion,” the letter had said.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 2:58:51 PM |

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