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SC concerned over adulteration of petro products

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A criminal-politician mafia nexus run petrol pumps and subsidised kerosene distribution in rural and urban parts of the country have led to “rampant” adulteration of petroleum products, the Supreme Court said on Friday.



“It is rampant and unfortunate that very powerful people like politicians have petrol pumps. Go to small and rural areas, all types of people are at play. Criminals and politicians,” a Bench led by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur observed.



“They can tamper with the machine. They are the people who will resist the change... How do you prevent adulteration? Millions of litres of kerosene are siphoned off,” Chief Justice Thakur remarked.



Recognising the immediate need to find a strategy to curb the menace, the Supreme Court asked the Solicitor-General, Ranjit Kumar appearing for the Ministry of Petroleum, to detail measures taken to stop fuel adulteration and siphoning of subsidised kerosene meant for the poor. The court even suggested the possibility of installing equipment which can detect fuel adulteration.



The Bench was hearing a petition filed by BSP leader Seema Upadhyay against Samajwadi Party MLA, Devendra alias Mukesh Agarwal, who is accused of fuel adulteration in pumps allegedly owned or operated by him through benami.



The court ordered a Ministry official not less than the rank of a Joint Secretary to investigate the allegations against Mr. Agarwal.



The Bench, which did not pay heed to SG’s submission that private interest was being raised under the garb of PIL by a rival politician, directed that the inquiry report be submitted to the apex court within six weeks.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 1:38:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/SC-concerned-over-adulteration-of-petro-products/article14591510.ece

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