The Union government had decided in November to cut 20 per cent of the supply of natural gas to Maharashtra and divert it to Gujarat. A division bench of Justices VM Kanade and MS Sonak asked the Centre to continue regular supply till January 9 for transport and domestic purpose.
According to the circular, the 100 per cent supply of natural gas to Mumbai’s transport and domestic sectors would be cut to 80 per cent. To fulfill the need of the remaining 20 per cent, the city would have had to import natural gas which would ultimately lead to rise in price.
Advocate for the petitioners Ganesh Hegde pointed out a 2002 order of the Supreme Court which said that the central government, while allotting quota of gas supply, should give preference to priority sectors.
Accepting Hegde’s argument, the judges said: “In our view, the Union government circular is contrary to the judgment passed by the Supreme Court. But this issue needs to be considered in detail. We direct the Union government not to reduce supply of CNG in Maharashtra...."