A public interest litigation petition has been filed in the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the Central Government to consider a representation seeking withdrawal of the hike in the price of petroleum and ensure that fuel is available to the people without difficulty.

In the petition, R. Balasubramanian of Kolathur, a city advocate, said that the prices of petroleum and diesel had been hiked exorbitantly in the last two years “without any valid reason.” The authorities concerned failed to reveal the quantum of requirement of fuel in the country and the imports so far, he said, adding that details relating to the rate per gallon of fuel procured from foreign countries and duty imposed on the import had been not made public. Because of fuel price hike, the ultimate sufferers were the public, particularly the middle class and the downtrodden.

Mr. Balasubramanian said due to the latest increase in fuel costs, prices of vegetables had gone up steeply. Also, Tamil Nadu faced an “artificial scarcity” of petrol and diesel. Motorists had to stand in long queues to draw fuel from outlets. He sent a representation to the Petroleum Secretary on May 28 to withdraw the increase in fuel prices and to ensure that people were able to get supplies without any difficulty. He prayed the court to direct the Union Government to consider the representation.

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