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RIL gets a week to clear contempt case

The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday granted one-week time to Reliance Industries Limited to explain the reasons why its chairman Mukesh Ambani should not be made a respondent party in a contempt petition. A division bench comprising Justice Ghulam Mohammad and Justice G. Bhavani Prasad was hearing a contempt petition filed by Lanke Maheswara Rao and his mother Ms Chekka Durgamba alleging that Reliance had taken over 8.23 acres in Peda Gadimoga village in East Godavari illegally. The petitioners contended that Reliance claimed to have bought the land from some people who have no title over it. They told the court that they succeeded in getting a decree over the land after a prolonged a civil litigation in the local civil court and it had handed over possession of the land to them in the presence of revenue and police authorities. “Despite this, Reliance chose to buy this land from those who lost the case in the civil court,” the petitioners said. According to the petitioners, when Reliance approached the local civil court, it gave an injunction order and asked the parties to maintain status quo on the land. Aggrieved by the local court’s order, the petitioner approached the High Court and it found fault with the local civil court for issuing an injunction. The petitioners claimed that the local civil court then vacated the injunction. They complained to the court that even now, Reliance was not relenting and has not handed over their land or paid any compensation to them. The petitioner’s advocate, Mr T. Kumar Babu, argued that there was no point in fighting against smaller officials of Reliance hired by its chairman when he himself had no regard for the laws of the land. He urged the court to add both Mr Mukesh and Reliance as party respondents in the contempt petition. When the bench was about to issue notices to Mr Mukesh Ambani and his company, the counsel for Reliance requested a week’s time to explain the reasons and the court conceded.

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