Chennai: The Centre on Monday filed a petition in the Madras High Court seeking to set aside a single Judge's recent order restraining oil marketing companies from charging higher price for diesel sold to state transport corporations in Tamil Nadu. The petition filed by the Petroleum Ministry contended the single Judge ought not to have entertained the petition by the Chairman of state transport undertakings challenging the Centre's decision which had a country-wide ramification and should have dismissed it in limine.
The state government could not challenge the Centre's policy decision under Art.226 of the Constitution (power of high courts to issue writs) and it was within the domain of the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, it argued. On March 14, 2013, Justice S Rajeswaran had passed the interim order restraining the oil companies till April 12, 2013 while hearing the petition challenging a central government order allowing oil companies to charge market price for bulk users of high speed diesel.
Contending that the Centre's January 17, 2013 decision of partial deregulation of diesel price was "arbitrary, inflationary, discriminatory and anti poor," the petition has prayed for declaring the price hike as unjust and unconstitutional. When the appeal by the Centre seeking suspension of the interim order came up before the First Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Kumar Agrawal and Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar, the Judges posted it for Tuesday.