New fuel outlets: HC dismisses pleas

‘Can’t compel oil companies to adopt IRC guidelines totally’


The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Thursday dismissed a batch of petitions that challenged the tender notifications issued by Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation to increase the number of fuel outlets in the State.

The petitioners opposed the tender notifications that called for setting up 5,125 new fuel outlets. They complained that the decision to increase the number of fuel stations was taken without any scientific criteria and transparency. They also said the guidelines issued by the Indian Road Congress (IRC) were not followed while taking the decision.

A Division Bench of Justice T.S. Sivagnanam and R. Tharani observed that the petitioners did not make out any case for setting aside the notifications issued by the oil corporations. It took cognisance of the fact that one of the petitioners had applied for a new dealership.

The court observed that the IRC framed guidelines from time to time to ensure safe road traffic. However, until the recommendations were made into statutory notifications, orders or suitable amendments to laws, they remained just as guidelines.

They were only recommendatory in nature, the court said, adding it could not compel the oil corporations to adopt the IRC guidelines in their entirety.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 5:39:38 AM |

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