Vol 3, PW 15 (18 Aug 99) News in Brief

Indias Supreme Court has made legal history be overturning corruption charges against a former oil minister, Capt.

Satish Sharma. On 4th November 1996, Sharma was found guilty of criminal breach of trust by the Supreme Court over his habit of awarding petrol pump licences to friends and relatives.

He was ordered to pay a fine of Rs50 lakhs ($120,000). In a rare 124-page verdict delivered on Wednesday (4th August), a bench of three Supreme Court judges ruled that Sharma had suffered a miscarriage of justice.

They ordered that all police investigations against him be dropped and that his fine be reimbursed. Sharmas name has been linked to the controversial award of the Panna, Mukta, and Tapti oil and gasfields to Reliance and Enron; the Ravva oilfield to Videocon and Cairn Energy and the (yet to be signed) award of Ratna and the R Series to Essar Oil and Premier Oil.

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