Chennai

91 fake NOCs were used to establish fuel outlets in T.N., High Court told

The Madras High Court was on Thursday startled to hear from the Director General of Police (DGP) that as many as 91 retail outlets of petrol, diesel and auto gas had been established across the State on the strength of fake No Objection Certificates (NOCs), reportedly issued by Collectors and Commissioners of Police.

Justices N. Kirubakaran and P. Velmurugan had called for the information after coming across a couple of habeas corpus petitions filed against the preventive detention of two individuals K.L. Sivakumar and C. Jayaprakash accused of having issued fake NOCs with the seal of the Commissioner of Police, Greater Chennai.

Suspecting that the crime could not have been be limited to Chennai, the judges directed the DGP to verify the records in all districts and submit a detailed report. Accordingly, Additional Public Prosecutor R. Prathap Kumar submitted a list before the court and said the inquiry revealed the issuance of 91 fake NOCs.

The court was informed that submission of a NOC from the Commissioner of Police, if a retail outlet was to be established within city limits, or from the Collector, if it was to be established in other places, was a prerequisite to obtain licence for the outlet from the Petroleum and Safety Explosive Organisation (PESO).

The onus of obtaining such NOCs was on the individual dealers and so Sivakumar, who was a consultant for a petroleum company, had collected huge sums of money from them and issued fake NOCs. Shocked to hear such allegations, the judges directed Assistant Solicitor General G. Karthikeyan too to look into the issue.

They directed the APP to furnish a copy of the DGP’s report to Abdul Saleem, counsel for Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited and Nayara Energy Limited (formerly Essar Oil) so that he could find out if any of the 91 outlets had been established by the dealers of these three companies and initiate appropriate action.

The judges called for a report from PESO too on the issue of fake NOCs.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2020 1:28:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/91-fake-nocs-were-used-to-establish-fuel-outlets-in-tn-high-court-told/article32748215.ece

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