Centre's appeal on higher diesel price not maintainable: TN
Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government today submitted before the Madras High Court that the Centre's writ appeal against a single judge's recent order restraining oil marketing companies from charging higher price for diesel sold to state transport corporations was not maintainable.
Justice S Rajeswara on March 14 had passed the interim order restraining the oil companies till April 12.
The judge issued the order while hearing the petition filed by the chairman of state transport undertakings, challenging a central government order allowing them to charge market price for bulk users of high-speed diesel.
When the Petroleum Ministry's appeal came up before the first bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal and Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar, it observed that the dual diesel policy was 'prima facie faulty'.
The petition had contended the single judge ought not to have entertained the petition by the Chairman of state transport undertakings challenging the Centre's decision which had a country-wide ramification and should have dismissed it in limine.
The bench further observed that the Petroleum Minister himself had told Parliament that they did not have any mechanism to prevent bulk consumers lining up at retail fuel outlets.
When the bench asked Tamil Nadu Advocate General A L Somayaji if the government would give an undertaking that it would pay the differential amount to the oil companies if it loses the case, Somayaji and Additional Solicitor General P Wilson agreed to get appropriate instructions from the state and central governments respectively by March 28.
The Advocate General, while opposing the Centre's appeal, contended that the policy would adversely affect poor and middle class people who rely on the public transport system, while benefiting those having luxury cars.