The Supreme Court on Friday sought a response from the Centre on an appeal of Vedanta Ltd against a Delhi High Court verdict related to a production sharing contract (PSC) of Vedanta and the ONGC to produce oil from the Barmer oil field in Rajasthan.
Vedanta Ltd has moved the top court against the March 26 judgement of a division bench of the Delhi High Court setting aside a single judge order directing the Centre to extend till 2030 its PSC with Vedanta Ltd and ONGC to produce oil from the Barmer oil field.
“Issue notice,” said a bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justice Krishna Murari after hearing brief submissions from senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Vedanta Ltd.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre and the ONGC, said that he accepted the notice and sought four week’s time for filing the responses.
The bench took note of the submissions and fixed the appeal of Vedanta and co-appellant Cairn Energy Hydrocarbons Ltd for hearing in September.
Earlier, the Centre had moved an appeal before a division bench of the high court against the judgement of a single judge bench directing it to extend till 2030 its PSC with Vedanta Ltd and ONGC to produce oil from the Barmer oil field.
The Centre’s appeal was allowed by the division bench of the high court against that Vedanta moved the apex court.
The single judge had held that Vedanta was entitled to an extension of its contract, which was to expire in 2020, for a further period of 10 years on the same terms and agreements when it was first entered into in 1995.
Vedanta had moved the court after its request to the government in 2009 to extend the PSC but did not elicit any response. It had claimed that the delay in a decision by the government was preventing it from infusing further investment of over Rs 30,000 crore in the project.
In its plea before the single judge, Vedanta had said the estimated recoverable assets in the block were about 1. 2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, of which 466 million barrels are expected to be recovered beyond the current PSC period until 2030.
Besides, it was also producing natural gas from the block and supplying it to government companies, the company had claimed.