Delhi High Court refuses to pass order on PIL against rising fuel prices

Delhi High Court has refused to pass an order on rising petrol and diesel prices, responding to a PIL filed before the court.

On 11 September 2018, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was moved in the Delhi High Court against the daily change in the prices of petrol and diesel in the country. The petition was filed by one Puja Mahajan of Delhi, who requested the high court to issue directions to the central government to treat petrol and diesel as essential commodities and fix a fair price for these items. The PIL was filed through advocate A Maitri, which alleged that the government has given indirect permission to the oil marketing companies to hike the petrol and diesel prices at their own “whims and fancies”.

No revision in fuel prices done for 22 days before Karnataka assembly elections, it proves the implied consent of the government, alleged the PIL. The petition also alleged that the government was giving misleading information by saying fuel prices are rising due to rise in prices of global crude oil because when the global crude prices had fallen the petrol and diesel prices in India were not reduced.

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The petition was presented before Chief Justice Rajendra Mohan and Justice V K Rao, who had listed it for hearing today.

Responding to the petition, the court said that the fuel prices are a matter of policy decision of the government, and there will great economic ramifications if court passes an order on the matter. Therefore it is up to the government to take a decision and the court would not like to get involved in it.

Prices of petrol and diesel have been rising consistently for the last several days, and are at all time high levels now. Opposition parties have been protesting against the rising fuel prices, and the opposition led by Congress had called for a nationwide bandh on 10 September which had turned violent. In light of this, the Delhi High court decision comes as a relief for the NDA government.

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