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The Supreme Court Friday said the government was the undisputed owner of natural resources and had the right to fix its price. It was

delivering the verdict on the dispute over Krishna-Godavari gas between companies led by the two Ambani brothers, Mukesh and Anil.

Keeping the interests of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Natural Resources, the apex court also directed that an agreement be reached with Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries within six weeks over supplies of natural gas from the fields, off the Andhra Pradesh coast.

The case, one of the most-followed legal battles in India, was heard by a three member bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice B. Sudershan Reddy and Justice B. Sudershan Reddy.

At the core of the gas dispute was the validity of an agreement reached between the two brothers — and blessed by their mother Kokilabehn — at the time of the de-merger of the erstwhile Reliance Group in June 2005.

It concerned the price, quantity and tenure of gas supplies by Reliance Industries to Reliance Natural Resources. The agreement called for 28 million units of gas a day to be supplied by Reliance Industries to Reliance Natural Resources at $2.34 per unit for 17 years.

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