High Court issues notices to Centre on PIL against petrol price hike

Citing lack of uniformity in the prices of petrol, the petitioner said that in Thane, the price per litre is Rs81.70, while it is as low as Rs58.06 in Port Blair, Rs81.75 per litre in Bengaluru and Rs73.18 in Delhi

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday issued notices to Centre, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Finance Secretary, besides three oil marketing companies on a public interest litigation (PIL), which claimed that recent hike in petrol prices is "illegal" since it lacked the Parliament's approval and "ultra vires" of Constitution, reports PTI.

A bench of Justice RY Ganoo and Justice NM Jamdar ordered service of notices to the respondents, who apart from the central ministries also include the oil marketing companies, namely the Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp.

The bench has posted the matter to 30th May.

The PIL, filed by Rajendra Phanse, submitted that the petrol prices were hiked "abruptly" on 23rd May 23 at the stroke of midnight after the conclusion of the budget session of Parliament.

The petitioner contended that the raise in petrol prices was "totally illegal" as it has no approval of the Parliament.

The oil marketing companies had increased prices of petrol by Rs7.50 per litre.

Terming as "undemocratic", the hike since it was announced after the Budget session was over, the petitioner argued that in the past the decisions like raising the rates of postal and telephone services used to be taken during the budget session.

The petitioner further said that the hike was against the principles of natural justice as it is bound to affect the entire population of the country.

Citing lack of uniformity in the prices of petrol, the petitioner said that in Thane (Maharashtra), the price per litre is Rs81.70, while it is as low as Rs58.06 in Port Blair, Rs81.75 per litre in Bengaluru and Rs73.18 in Delhi.

This showed that the prices of petrol change from city to city within the country, which is nothing but a geographical discrimination in contravention of Article 14 of the Constitution, he said.

Since petroleum is a Central subject, the prices of petrol must be uniform across the country in tandem with the principles of equality before law, the petition maintained, citing uniformity in scales of pay under the Central government, including subordinate judiciary, across the country.

Supply of petrol is a essential service required by the nation and the Centre should set up a Regulatory Commission to draft a uniform policy on the petroleum products, including petrol, diesel, CNG and LPG, and place the policy before Parliament for approval, the petitioner said.

Advocate VP Patil, who appeared for Phanse, a resident of neighbouring Thane, urged the court to direct the respondents to fix a uniform rate of petrol throughout the country.

He also urged the high court to direct respondents to roll back the hike of Rs7.50 per litre of petrol.

Phanse also requested the court to direct the respondents to take any policy decision pertaining to hiking petrol prices only during the parliament session since such decision affects common people the most.

The PIL also maintained that the Centre be refrained from taking any "hasty" decision--about increasing prices of petrol---when the House is adjourned sine-die because such decision is undemocratic and illegal in nature.



himanil pandya

5 years ago

If there is no other way than the government must hike petrol prices but we see the government bailing out AI.Also, Kingfisher is indirectly getting bailout as SBI is not recovering loans worth 9000 crore from it.Also, black money no action except a white paper.Also,lack of action on corruption,Didi is asking for debt relief, perpetuation of NRHM,JNNURM,NREGA.The government gives tax exemptions to F1 and IPL but increases prices for common man.Also, LIC asked to bailout ONGC was totally unethical.

JPMorgan US Growth Equity Offshore Fund: Another US fund-of-fund scheme

Schemes investing in US markets seem to be the flavour of the season and now JP Morgan, not wanting to be left behind, has joined in

Franklin Templeton MF recently launched a scheme—Franklin US Opportunities Fund and soon, Reliance Mutual Fund and DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund followed suit and filed offer documents to launch Reliance US Dollar Fund and DSP BlackRock US Flexible Equity Fund respectively. JP Morgan which has launched three offshore equity funds in the past, recently, filed an offer document with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to launch another fund-of-fund (FoF)— US Growth Equity Offshore Fund. The other FoF schemes are: JPMorgan JF ASEAN Equity Off-shore Fund, JPMorgan JF Greater China Equity Off-shore Fund and JPMorgan Emerging Europe Middle East and Africa Equity Off shore Fund. JP Morgan is probably looking to give investors a varied option of offshore funds to invest in and competition to DSP BlackRock MF, another fund house, which has a wide array of foreign funds. The asset management company filed a couple of offer documents last year to launch JP Morgan America Large Cap Equity Offshore Fund and JP Morgan Global Financial Equity Offshore Fund, these schemes, however, are yet to be launched.

According to the offer document, JPMorgan US Growth Equity Offshore Fund, will invest 95% to 100% of its assets in JPMorgan Funds—US Growth Fund. The rest would be kept in money market instruments, liquid schemes, cash and cash equivalents. The foreign fund which was launched in October 2000 has an objective to invest  in companies  that  have  the ability  to  deliver  significantly  higher  growth  than  market   expectations  over  the  next  three to five  years. At least 67% of the assets of the underlying scheme will be invested in a growth style based portfolio of equity securities of companies that are domiciled in US or carrying out the main part of their economic activity in the US. The underlying scheme may also invest in Canadian companies. The scheme performance will be benchmarked to the INR equivalent Russell 1000 Growth Index (Total Return Net).

The underlying scheme, priced in US dollars, has returned 17.25% year-to-date, as on 30 April 2012. The benchmark returned 14.36% and the Sensex returned 5.86% in the same period. However, in the last three-year, five-year and 10-year period where it returned, 20.45%, 0.72%, and 2.18% respectively, it failed to outperform the benchmark which returned 20.85%, 3.61% and 4.73% in the respective periods. The top holdings of the fund are: Apple, Mastercard, Biogen Idec, IBM and Intuitive Surgical. More than half of the assets of the fund are invested in the technology and consumer products sectprs.

This being a FoF scheme you will not get any long-term tax benefit you would have got had you invested in any domestic equity scheme. A better option for the investors would be to rely on a systematic investment plan (SIP). Which scheme to choose? A good equity diversified scheme would do the trick. Namdev Chougule will be the fund manager of the scheme.

Additional Scheme Details
Minimum Investment amount: Rs5,000 and in multiple of Re1 thereof
Additional Investment amount: Rs1,000 and in multiple of Re1 thereof

Annual scheme recurring expenses: 1.650% p.a. of average daily net assets
Exit load if switched before one year: 1%, and nil after one year
Taxation: Investors would be subject to long-term and short-term tax on capital gains.


Axis Bank ties up with Bahrain's bank for remittance

Any person having an account with Ahli United Bank would be able to wire money to a bank account holder in India using the Internet banking platform

Mumbai: India's third largest private sector lender Axis Bank on Monday said it partnered with Bahrain's Ahli United Bank for inward remittances, reports PTI.

Under the tie-up, any person having an account with Ahli United Bank would be able to wire money to a bank account holder in India using the Internet banking platform, Axis Bank said in a release.

If the beneficiary account holder is an Axis customer, the amount will be credited the same day but if the account is in any other bank branch covered under the NEFT network, it can take up to two days, it said.

Customers can initiate transactions of up to BHD 5,000 a day using the service at present, it added.



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