Plea in High Court against letting Transport Commissioner entertain statutory appeals against refusal of NOC to petroleum retail outlets

Litigant says the official is empowered to deal only with issues related to the Motor Vehicles Act and allied matters and had nothing to do with petroleum outlets

November 09, 2022 11:27 pm | Updated 11:27 pm IST - CHENNAI

The case contends that the Transport Commissioner is not the immediate superior of Commissioners / Deputy Commissioners of Police or District Magistrates / Additional District Magistrates and hence the officer cannot be the appellate authority. 

The case contends that the Transport Commissioner is not the immediate superior of Commissioners / Deputy Commissioners of Police or District Magistrates / Additional District Magistrates and hence the officer cannot be the appellate authority.  | Photo Credit: File Photo

A writ petition has been filed in the Madras High Court seeking a declaration that the Transport Commissioner has no authority to entertain statutory appeals preferred against orders passed either by the Commissioners / Deputy Commissioners of Police or the District Magistrates / Additional District Magistrates with respect to refusing or cancelling no objection certificates to petroleum retail outlets.

The petition has been listed for admission before Acting Chief Justice T. Raja and Justice D. Bharatha Chakravarthy on Thursday. Advocate V.B.R. Menon had filed the case contending that the Transport Commissioner was not the immediate superior of Commissioners / Deputy Commissioners of Police or District Magistrates / Additional District Magistrates and hence the officer could not be the appellate authority.

He pointed out that the Petroleum Rules, 2002, empowers the Commissioners/ Deputy Commissioners of Police in respect of cities having police commissionerates and the District Magistrates/ Additional District Magistrates in respect of other places to issue, refuse or cancel NOCs for operating petroleum retail outlets. The Rules state that their immediate superior official should be the appellate authority.

However, in Tamil Nadu, the statutory appeals against refusal to grant NOCs or cancellation of existing NOCs were being filed before the Transport Commissioner, the petitioner said and contended that the procedure was grossly erroneous and contrary to the statute. He pointed out that the Transport Commissioner was empowered only to deal with issues related to the Motor Vehicles Act and allied matters.

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