ESSAR STEEL LTD. Vs. UNION OF INDIA & ORS.
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: GUJARAT)
ESSAR STEEL LTD.
Union of India And Ors.
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(1.) The present appeals arise out of the impugned common final judgment and order dated 16.05.2008 passed in Special Civil Application No. 4468 of 2008 etc. by the High Court of Gujarat at Ahmedabad, wherein by a majority of 2:1, a Three Judge bench upheld the validity of the impugned policy decision dated 06.03.2007 on the ground that the Union of India is competent to take the policy decision and further it has held that it is either arbitrary, unjust or violative of the fundamental rights of the appellants herein.
(2.) Since the facts in all these appeals raise the same issue for our consideration, for the sake of brevity, we refer to the facts of Civil Appeal No.4610 of 2009. The necessary relevant facts required to appreciate the rival legal contentions advanced on behalf of the parties are stated in brief hereunder:
India purchases natural gas from Gulf countries. Since gas in large quantities cannot be feasibly transported by pipelines across countries, before such gas is transported, it is liquefied and thereafter shipped to India. This liquefied gas is known as Liquefied Natural Gas (hereinafter referred to as "LNG"). Once this liquefied gas reaches India, it is converted into gas again. This is known as Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas (hereinafter referred to as "RLNG").
In the instant case, Ras Laffin Natural Gas Company Limited, Qatar (hereinafter referred to as "RasGas") sold LNG to Petronet LNG Limited (hereinafter referred to as "Petronet"), an Indian company, which was set up as a Joint venture between the Government of India and the key players in the LNG market like Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (hereinafter referred to as "ONGC"), Indian Oil Corporation Limited (hereinafter referred to as "IOCL") and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (hereinafter referred to as "BPCL"). This was done under a Sale Purchase Agreement entered in July, 1999 for a period of 25 years.
(3.) Petronet sold the resultant LNG to companies like BPCL, IOCL and GAIL. They in turn, sold it to customers like Essar Steel, which is the appellant in Civil Appeal No. 4610 of 2009.;
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