In what could be another face-off between Aam Aadmi Party and Reliance Industries, the Anti Corruption Branch of the Delhi government on Thursday issued a notice to top officials of RIL and its partner Niko Resources Ltd to join investigations next week in Krishna-Godavari Basin case.
The move marked the first improvement in the FIR registered in February last year when AAP had formed a government in Delhi for 49 days. The FIR also includes the names of former petroleum ministers M Veerappa Moily, Murli Deora, former director general of hydrocarbons V K Sibal and RIL chairperson Mukesh Ambani.
Sources in the ACB confirmed that a notice has been issued to P M S Prasad, executive director and CEO of Reliance Industries’ petroleum division, and Lardy Fisher, India head NIKO Resources Ltd which along with the RIL consortium owns a 10 per cent stake in the KG Basin. The two have been asked to join investigations under Section 160 of the CrPc.
In February 2014, on the directions of AAP, the ACB had registered an FIR under Sections 13(c)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and 420 and 120 (b) of the IPC. The complaint was made by former cabinet secretary T S R Subramaniam, former secretary of Government of India E A S Sarma, former chief of Naval staff Admiral R H Tahiliani and Supreme Court advocate Kamini Jaiswal.
The FIR stated that the Centre and the RIL had “colluded to double the gas prices” and that the alleged “nexus between RIL and the Cabinet ministers was furthered keeping the upcoming elections in mind”.
The FIR states that the impact of the hike gas prices, according to calculations, “would cost the country a minimum of Rs 54,000 crore every year”.