The Delhi High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition that sought documents and records to understand the rationale behind rising fuel rates, reported ANI.
In June 2017, state-owned oil firms discarded the policy of changing fuel rates on the first and 16th of every month and resorted to daily price revision. The petitioner – Delhi-based designer Pooja Mahajan – wanted to know the “formula” used by oil firms to determine the prices of petrol, diesel and check if they were benefiting from the revision of rates. “Government as well as oil companies are enriching themselves unlawfully and illegally,” read the petition, according to PTI.
Advocate A Maitri, who represented the petitioner, accused oil firms of selling their old stock at revised rates after purchasing them at a cheaper price. “Barrel is a unit of mass meaning thereby that crude oil is being sold in international market on mass/weight of the crude oil but here in India, petrol and diesel are sold on litre basis, without taking care of density/mass of petrol/diesel,” the plea read.
The Centre has attributed the rise in fuel prices to external factors. Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan has claimed that the strengthening of the dollar and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are responsible for the surge.
Last week, Mahajan had filed a public interest litigation plea requesting the court o direct the Centre to treat petrol and diesel as “essential commodities” and fix a “fair price” for petroleum products. The Delhi High Court had refused to intervene in the matter, stating that the daily change in fuel rates was the Centre’s “economic policy decision”.