A Panaji court has ruled against the Goa government in an appeal challenging an arbitration award in favor of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd over a power purchase dispute, directing the Goa state government to pay the company Rs 292 crore along with interest.
Principal District and Sessions Judge Irshad Agha heard a petition filed by Reliance Infrastructure, which sought speedy disbursement of dues awarded to it in an arbitration award which was granted in February 2018, by a Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission Tribunal.
Speaking to the press, Goa Advocate General Devidas Pangam said that it was up to the Goa state government to decide on whether to appeal against the order.
“Our contentions and objections were rejected by the honorable court. However, the court also granted a stay of six weeks for the government to allow us to appeal in the High Court. It is for the government to take a decision on it,” he said.
It may be recalled that in 2018, Reliance Infrastructure Ltd had won the Rs 292-crore arbitration award, after the Goa state government had raised objections to the bills raised by the private company for supply of power to the Goa state government, through its subsidiary Reliance Salgaocar Power Ltd, a private power supply firm.
After the Goa court's order, the Goa state government now owes Reliance Infrastructure Limited Rs 359 crore, along with interest, in dues.
Incidentally, after the Reliance Salgaocar Power Company (RSPC) shut down, the firm had transferred several megawatts of power to the Goa state government-run grid, and a dispute arose between the two parties about payment for the supply of power.
The RSPC and the Goa state government had signed a power purchase agreement in 1998.
While the Goa state government had claimed that the power supply bill raised by Reliance Infrastructure Ltd was unreasonably high, the private firm had insisted that dues owed to it were as per norms.