A petition against the daily revision in the prices of petrol and diesel was admitted in the Delhi High Court on Tuesday. The Public Interest Litigation, filed by Delhi resident Puja Mahajan before a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice VK Rao, will be heard on Wednesday.
The plea demanded that the central government treat petrol and diesel as “essential commodities” and fix a “fair price” for petroleum products. It claimed the government has “indirectly given implied consent” to oil manufacturing companies to increase fuel prices at their own “whims and fancies”.
This implied consent was obvious since fuel prices were not revised for 22 days in the run-up to the Assembly elections in Karnataka, said the petition. Mahajan said that she had moved a similar petition in July and the court had urged the Centre to decide upon it. But she was forced to file the plea again as the government had not taken a decision so far on her representation.
State-owned oil firms in June last year discarded the policy of changing fuel rates on the first and 16th of every month, and resorted to daily price revision instead.
The plea comes in the wake of increasing fuel prices, a day after Opposition parties staged a nationwide strike against the rising rates. It claimed that the government was spreading “misleading information” by linking the rising prices in India with the global increase in the rate of crude oil.
Last week, the Centre attributed the rise in fuel prices to external factors. Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said strengthening of the dollar and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries were responsible for the surge.