7 May 2010
India's top court has issued a ruling in a long-running gas-pricing dispute between the billionaire Ambani brothers.
The dispute has fascinated the country for years.
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The case involves the terms of a deal under which Reliance Industries was to supply Reliance Natural Resources, headed by Mukesh Ambani's brother Anil, with a pre-agreed amount of gas for 17 years at a rate 44% below the rate set by the government.
But the court order stated that the government has a right to fix a price for the gas, and that two individuals cannot decide the price of a national asset. The court asked the two brothers to thrash out a fresh agreement within six weeks.
But the dispute involves more than just sibling rivalry. The KG Basin is India's biggest gas find and could nearly double the nation's gas output when it is at full production. The outcome could set a basis for future regulations on gas pricing in India and influence foreign investment in the country.
The five-year battle between the billionaire brothers has dominated national news and the verdict in favour of the country's most valuable company is expected to influence trading in the stock markets.
Shilpa Kannan, BBC, Delhi
Click to listen to the vocabulary:
- the terms of a deal
the details of an agreement that was made
- headed by
led by, run by, managed by
- to fix a price
to decide what the price should be
- a national asset
something of value that belongs to the country
- to thrash out
to work together to come to an agreement
- sibling rivalry
competition between brothers and sisters
- the outcome
- the verdict
the legal decision given by a court