Earlier last week, the central government had sought 16 weeks to work out a policy. "A high court bench has asked the central government to comply with the order issued on July 25 last year and submit a compliance report by October 25," said Amit Panchal, the counsel for the petitioner, Dhangadhra Prakruti Mandal. "The bench was of the view that enough time had been granted to the Centre after the delivery of the verdict."
However, assistant solicitor general IH Syed was not available to comment on the date of implementation.
In an affidavit filed by the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, the court was assured that the ministry was bound to implement the high court order to supply gas for domestic and vehicular use at rates being charged in Delhi and Mumbai.
But for that, the ministry said, it would require a new policy for allocation of gas to City Gas Distributor (CGD) entities. The ministry said the process would require data on consumption, consultation with stakeholders, and a considered decision on the redistribution of limited domestic gas.
The high court had asked the Centre not to discriminate against private CGDs.
After the HC order, the petitioner had sought compliance with the order. But before this matter proceeded further, the Centre filed an appeal in the Supreme Court challenging the high court order. After the apex court upheld the high court order, the latter started hearing the petition seeking compliance of the order.
On July 25 last year, a bench of the Gujarat high court comprising Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice JB Pardiwala had ordered the Union government to provide CNG at rates similar to those in effect in Delhi and Mumbai. There is a difference of about Rs 20 per kg between the prices in metros and Ahmedabad.