In July 2012, the HC had directed the Union of India to allocate natural gas at Administered Price Mechanism (APM) rate, as applicable for Delhi and Mumbai. Following this order the Central government had filed an Special Leave Petition with the SC challenging the HC order. The petition was dismissed by Justices H L Dattu and M I Iqbal.
Last year, a division bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala had passed an order based on a set of public interest litigation moved by Dhrangadhra Prakruti Mandal and Gujarat Rajya Autorickshaw Federation. The HC had directed the state government to compel owners of all vehicles in Gujarat to use natural gas within a year to bring the pollution level down in the state.
The petitioners had argued that Delhi and Mumbai get natural gas at lower prices due to APM, but due to non-allocation of the same to Gujarat, there is a scarcity of gas supply that leads to increase of expenses.
Hailing the SC order as a “victory” for a state that’s fighting a legal battle against the “discrimination” meted out by the Congress-led UPA government, state’s Energy minister Saurabh Patel said that the verdict will benefit 2.35 lakh CNG vehicle users. The SC has told the Central government to provide CNG at cheaper cost to Gujarat as it provides to other states based on the APM formula, the minister said in a statement issued on Monday.