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Diesel price issue: HC reserves orders on Centre`s appeal

Madras High Court reserved orders on Centre`s appeal challenging judge`s order restraining oil companies from charging higher price for diesel sold to Tamil Nadu govt-owned transport corporations.

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Monday reserved its orders on the Centre`s appeal challenging a single judge`s order restraining oil marketing companies from charging higher price for diesel sold to Tamil Nadu government-owned transport corporations under the bulk user category.
A bench, comprising acting Chief Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal and Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar, reserved orders after hearing Advocate General A L Somayaji and Additional Solicitor General P Wilson and M Ravindran, who appeared for the companies.

Justice S Rajeswaran had on March 14 gave the interim injunction restraining the oil companies till April 12 on a petition by chairman of state transport undertakings challenging a central government order allowing the companies to charge market price for bulk users of high speed diesel.

Seeking to set aside this order, the Petroleum Ministry in its appeal had submitted that the single judge ought not to have entertained the petition challenging the Centre`s decision which had a nationwide ramification.

It contended that the single judge should have seen that the Centre`s January 17 decision, introducing the dual-pricing policy, was taken based on certain material.

The state Advocate General, while opposing the Centre`s appeal, had argued that the policy would adversely affect poor and middle class people who rely on the public transport system, while benefiting those having luxury cars.

In its petition, the transport undertakings chairman had submitted that the Centre`s decision of partial deregulation of diesel price was "arbitrary, inflationary, discriminatory and anti poor" and prayed for declaring the price hike as unjust and unconstitutional.


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