New Delhi: Daily change in fuel prices was an “economic policy decision” of the central government and the courts must remain away from it, the Delhi High Court said on Wednesday.
A two-judge bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V. K. Rao made it clear it was not inclined to interfere with the government's decision, saying "there are larger economic issues" involved. The bench said, "It is an economic policy matter of the government. There are larger economic issues. The courts must remain away from it. Government may do it (fix a fair price). We cannot issue a mandamus (direction) to them to do it."
The bench was hearing a PIL by Delhi-based designer, Puja Mahajan, challenging the daily rise in fuel rates and seeking a direction to the Centre to fix a fair price for petrol and diesel by treating them as essential commodities.
The petition, filed through lawyer A. Maitri, also claimed that Mahajan''s representation to the central government on the issue has not yet been decided. The court, thereafter, directed the central government to decide the representation within four weeks and listed the matter for hearing on November 16.
The petition has alleged that the government had "indirectly given implied consent" to oil marketing companies to hike petrol and diesel prices at their own "whims and fancies". It has claimed that the implied consent was evident from the lack of revision in fuel prices for around 22 days in the run-up to the Karnataka Assembly polls.