Reliance owners fighting like persons heading two countries: SC

     The Supreme Court, which is hearing a petition related to the gas row between estranged industrialist brothers -- Mukesh and Anil Ambani, on Tuesday observed that there is a fight between the owners of companies, and not between the shareholders. The apex court also observed that it is like persons heading two countries are fighting, but the people are not fighting. The court adjourned the matter for further hearing on Wednesday. The case between Reliance Industries, headed by Mukesh, and the Reliance Natural Resources Ltd, led by Anil, is over a deal to sell gas from the Krishna Basin Reserve to the Reliance Natural Resource Limited (RNRL) at below-market rates as per a family settlement. Just ten days ago, Anil made a surprise truce offer to resolve the dispute amicably. But with Mukesh rejecting Anil's olive branch, the action has now moved to the Supreme Court. In a statement on October 11, Anil said all disagreements could be resolved within weeks, but RIL questioned the sincerity of the offer made "through the public domain" and said Anil could have easily contacted his elder brother directly. RIL also asked Anil to demonstrate the bonafide of his intentions behind the latest overture, adding it welcomes this positive indicator and will not be found wanting in responding to them constructively. The latest tussle between the feuding brothers, which stems from the 2005 break-up of the Reliance empire built by their father, has raised concerns it could discourage investment in the sector as India scrambles to shore up its energy security. In July, the Supreme Court had said that it would club all petitions and applications in the case together. The Government had earlier made a petition to intervene in the case, arguing that the gas is 'state property' and that the private agreement between the Ambanis over the gas is not valid.

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