The Bombay High Court will Wednesday hear a public suit against the recent hike in petrol prices. Acting on the suit filed Monday by Rajendra Phanse, the court issued notice to the central government, the petroleum and natural gas and finance ministries and three oil marketing companies.
Phanse’s petition claimed that the recent hike in petrol prices is “illegal” as it did not have parliament’s approval and is “ultra vires” of the constitution.
A division bench of Justices R.Y. Ganoo and N.M. Jamdar posted the matter for May 30.
The petitioner stated that the hike was against the principles of natural justice as it is bound to affect the entire population of the country.
Citing lack of uniformity in the prices of petrol, the petitioner said that in Thane (Maharashtra), the price per litre is Rs.81.70, while it is as low as Rs.58.06 in Port Blair, Rs. 81.75 per litre in Bangalore and Rs.73.18 in Delhi.
This showed that the prices of petrol change from city to city within the country, which is nothing but a geographical discrimination in contravention of Article 14 of the Constitution, the petition said.
Phanse also requested the court to direct the respondents to take any policy decision pertaining to hiking petrol prices only during the parliament session since such decision affects common people the most.