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No gas supplied to firms of Baalu's kin: Deora

By Staff

New Delhi, May 2 (UNI) Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora today clarified that not a single cubic metre gas has been supplied to companies belonging to the kin of Shipping and Transport Minister T R Baalu as the matter was pending in Delhi High Court.

Elucidating his April 30 statement in the Rajya Sabha on gas allocations to Kings India Chemicals Corporation Ltd and Kings India Power Corporation Ltd, he said allocations of 10,000 cubic metre and 4.5 cubic metre per day made to the two companies respectively were cancelled by the NDA Government on January 14, 2004.

Alleging injustice and discrimination, Kings India Power Corporation's chairman T R B Rajja petitioned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in May, 2005. The PMO discussed the issue and opinion of the Ministry which said it was not possible to give any relief to the petitioner, Mr Deora said. The PMO did not issue any order to the Ministry to help the company.

References regarding the issue were, however, received in a routine manner from the PMO but without any recommendation on the representation made by director of the company Selvakumar Baalu, he added.

Following this, the petitioner moved Madras High Court in 2005, Mr Deora said. The court, in its order of October 10, 2007, directed the Ministry to allot gas within four weeks.

But when the court order by a single judge was not implemented, the company filed contempt petition.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Power Producers Association and Narimanam Zone Natural Gas Consumers Association filed appeals before a division bench of Madras High Court against the order of a single judge. These Associations made the Central government, Gas Authority of India Ltd (Gail) and the companies of Mr Baalu's kin as respondents in the case.

The division bench on February 19 set aside the October 10, 2007 order of the single bench and directed the Centre to take a decision on merit on the applications made by the companies.

Even as the issue was pending, one independent Power Producers Association and others filed a writ petition in Delhi High Court on the issue and the court stayed allocation of gas.

Mr Deora said since the issue is pending in Delhi High Court and hence sub-judiced, ''not a single cubic metre gas has been supplied to the companies.'' UNI SAA BDP ND1832

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