Does Petroleum Ministry consider itself ‘God’, asks SC

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New Delhi, July 9 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday slammed the Petroleum Ministry for not complying with its order, asking whether it considers itself to be “God” or a “super government”, and also imposing a fine of Rs 25,000 for “laxity”.

A bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta was upset with the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, after it was informed that it had told the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on Sunday only about the issue of ban on import of pet coke, which is used as industrial fuel.

“Is the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas a God? Are they God? They would respond whenever they want? Tell them to change their name from Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to God”, the bench said.

“Is Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas a super government? Is it above the Government of India? What is the status of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, tell us. Why are they not complying with any order.”

The bench observed: “If they (the Ministry) do not feel like complying with the orders, they do not comply, and think that the unemployed judges of the Supreme Court will give them time. Are we supposed to be at the mercy of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.”

“We are surprised by the attitude of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas in taking their own time in responding to the Ministry of Environment’s communication. The delay is entirely because of the laxity of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas,” said the bench while slapping Rs 25,000 cost on it and asked it to deposit the amount with the Supreme Court Legal Services Authority on or before July 13.

If the amount is not deposited, the court would enhance the amount of fine, the court said.

The court was hearing a PIL filed in 1985 by environmentalist M.C. Mehta relating to air pollution in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR).

The bench also imposed a cost of Rs one lakh on the Delhi government for not filing a status report about giving a time-line for removal of traffic bottlenecks on several corridors here.

Referring to its May 10 order, when the court has sought status report from the Delhi government, the bench said it appeared that Delhi government was not concerned about them.

The Delhi government on May 10 had told the court that it has set up six task forces to look into the issue of traffic bottlenecks in several corridors in the city, and these corridors were classified under categories A, B and C and steps were being taken with respect to 11 out of 28 corridors falling under category A.

The bench now posted the matter for hearing on July 16.



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