Reliance Infra filed defamation suit against AAP…

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Reliance Infrastructure Ltd (R-Infra), a part of the Reliance Group led by Anil Ambani, has filed a defamation suit in Bombay high court against the AamAadmi Party (AAP) that accused the utility of not passing on to consumers benefits accrued from the Maharastra government, and made other allegations.

The case, filed in February, is likely to come up for hearing on 7 March.

The AAP in recent weeks said R-Infra’s customers were paying higher tariffs because of mistakes made by the company.

The AAP had also said that despite having to meet demand for 1,700-1,800 megawatts, R-Infra had long-term power purchase agreements for only 500MW and the rest was being procured through short-term contracts that made power more expensive.

R-Infra has refuted the allegations. “We are surprised at the false and baseless allegations which have been made by AAP purely for political considerations,” R-Infra had said in a statement earlier.

On 27 February, the AAP also accused the Maharashtra State Power Generation Co. Ltd (Mahagenco) of being inefficient and corrupt, resulting in its consumers having to pay excess tariff of Rs.22,000 crore over the past three fiscal years.

The AAP’s Maharashtra unit convener Anjali Damania and executive committee member Satish Jain alleged that electricity tariffs could have been 50% below the current level if the state-run utility had been run efficiently.

The AAP accused Mahagenco of not lifting the full quota of coal allocated to it by Coal India Ltd, and deliberately importing coal at twice the cost. AAP leaders said Mahagenco was also “gold plating” its capital expenditure. Mahagenco denied the allegations.

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