New Delhi, Sep 18 :
The Supreme Court Thursday asked the government to spell out its policy on the pricing of gas as it was told that a committee on gas pricing policy has been set up and will take a call by Sep 30.
A bench of Justice T.S.Thakur, Justice J. Chelameswar and Justice Kurian Joseph sought the government’s response as it was told that government was having a relook on the policy pursued by the earlier UPA government and had set up a committee of secretaries to suggest a policy on gas pricing.
Asking the government to file an affidavit stating clearly its policy on gas pricing, the court asked the petitioner, Left leader Gurudas Dasgupta to have faith in the government. It fixed Nov 14 as next date of hearing.
“You don’t have faith in the new government. The government is accountable to parliament. New government is in power. You have to repose confidence on something. Should court sit on judgment on revision of gas price,” the court said as Dasgupta’s counsel urged the court to ask the government if it was going to continue with the policy of the earlier UPA government or have a new policy.
The court said this as it took up for hearing two petitions by the former communist lawmaker and NGO Common Cause who had challenged the previous government’s decision to double price of the gas $ 4.2A per million British thermal unit to $ 8.4 mmbtu. The last hearing of the matter took place April 29.
The petitioners had moved the court in July 2013 seeking the quashing of the government decision to double the gas prices alleging that it was aimed to benefit Reliance Industry Ltd. for its gas from D6 block of KG basin. NGO Common Cause had sought the cancellation of the Production Sharing Contract between the government and RIL.
The petitioner had contended that the previous government’s decision that was come into effect from April 2014 was “arbitrary, malafide, unreasonable, and based on extraneous considerations” that would give windfall gains to RIL.
However, the hike in gas prices had to be shelved as Election Commission stepped in view of then on going elections to Lok Sabha.