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Delhi HC hears Centre over plea against Vedanta, seeking clearance of Rs 3,686 crore dues

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The Delhi High Court on Thursday heard the arguments presented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Central Government in its plea against Vedanta seeking clearance of dues of Rs 3,686 crore in lieu of renewal of the contract for Rajasthan oil block.

Hearing the plea through video conferencing, a divisional bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh noted that the matter over the question of law will be heard later.

Mehta submitted,

“I’ll not take it as a by party dispute, as we deal with petroleum products on behalf of people of India. Government Must ensure profit maximisation, Production Sharing Contract is entered in an agreement pertaining to petroleum products. Since natural resources are held on behalf of the people of India, President of India is party 1 to the contract.”

“As per the contract, the contract may be extended under various categories, the contract was coming to end on May 6, 2020 at the end of 25 years. Whereas, petitioner sought extension of 10 years relying upon clause 2.1 of PSC,”

Mehta added.

While putting up the policy regulation Mehta informed the bench,

“According to the policy in case of all extensions government’s share should be 10% more. It was recommended new policy guidelines need to be introduced.”

Whereas, new All India Policy was introduced stating in case of extension of any production sharing, Government’s Share shall be 10% higher, in any year during extended period.

Mehta pointed out that this provision is not applicable to fresh contracts but to existing contracts only. Whereas, the policy will override the provisions of PSC.

Also Read: Delhi HC allows 11 benches, subordinate courts to start physical hearings on alternate days from January 18

However, the bench said that the matter will be heard at a later stage over the question of law and has asked Mehta to submit a list of judgments he is relying upon. The matter is listed for further hearing on January 21.

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