Admitting a public interest litigation (PIL) alleging charging of unauthorised deposits from consumers with domestic PNG connection, the Gujarat High Court issued notices to Adani Gas Ltd and Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board here today.
A two-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala, issued a notice and posted further hearing on July 3. The High Court acted on the PIL filed by three city-based social activists Dhanesh Desai, Sanjay Raval and Bharat Shah who alleged Adani Gas Ltd has been charging an additional amount of Rs 500 as “security deposit” from its customers.
“Apart from all other charges for installation of pipeline and supply of gas authorised by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board, Adani collects additional amount of Rs 500 as so-called ‘security deposit’,” the PIL said.
The petition alleged the additional amount as “security deposit” is absolutely illegal and unauthorised and cannot be imposed on consumers of natural gas. The petition also alleged the gas company charged the amount which is not even mentioned in the tariff determined by the regulatory body.
“The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board has not passed any decision or order permitting collection of an additional ‘security deposit’ from customers for an PNG connection,” the petition said.
Seeking interim relief in the case, the petitioner wanted Adani Gas Ltd to be restrained from collecting any such “security deposits”. The petitioner has also demanded that the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board should direct Adani Gas to refund the amount of Rs 500 collected from consumers, along with its interest.