The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking deregulation of petrol and diesel prices and to pass on to the public, the benefits of fall in international crude oil rates.
The petition filed by a Kerala-based advocate, Shaji J Kodankandath, said that oil marketing companies (OMCs), which are directly under the operational control of the central government, were increasing petrol and diesel prices on a daily basis even though international crude oil prices have been at an all-time low since April.
“Do you seriously want to argue this? If you do, we will impose costs,” said Justice Rohinton Nariman who was heading the bench.
The petitioner’s lawyer chose not to pursue the case and accepted that the matter fell within the ambit of the government’s policy decision.
The petitioner had highlighted that the current price of crude oil was hovering at around Rs 38 per barrel and the total cost of manufacturing and selling of petrol and diesel would be around Rs 30 per litre.
Despite that, petrol and diesel prices are over Rs 80, which is over 150 percent more than the manufacturing cost, the plea said.
“The price of diesel, which is traditionally lower than petrol, has increased. Diesel costs more than petrol in some cities for the first time in recent history,” the petition added.