“Not So Important,” Says Top Court As It Adjourns Reliance KG Basin Case

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The Supreme Court adjourned the case without assigning any date for the next hearing.

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court has refused to hear the Krishna-Godavari basin gas production dispute between the Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and the government saying the court would rather look into more important cases.

"This case is of less importance," Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi told lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who was appearing for one of the petitioners after he said "it was a serious case".

The top court was hearing cases filed by CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta and NGO Common Cause in the Reliance KG Basin case.

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The chief justice pointed out that Colin Gonsalves, the advocate who is representing the main petitioner in the case, has written a letter saying he has some personal difficulty. "If the case is so important then where is Mr Gonsalves? He should have been here," Chief Justice Gogoi said.

To which Mr Bhushan replied that the advocate is travelling.

The chief justice then said, "Wheels of justice in lower and high courts are clogged because of difference of opinion of this court on some judgements. Seven or nine judge benches have to be constituted to deal with such cases. Around 70 to 80 death reference cases are also pending here."

The top court then adjourned the case without assigning any date for the next hearing.

The petition, which was filed by Mr Dasgupta in 2013, relates to arbitration proceedings between the government and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) over inadequate gas production from the KG-D6 basin, off the south-east coast.

The top court had issued notices to RIL, the government and Veerappa Moily, who was the petroleum minister at the time.

Claiming that the arbitration proceedings "will be only a pretense and a subterfuge for what will actually be a collusive process," Mr Dasgupta told the court seeking to halt the process.

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