The Delhi High Court on Wednesday restrained oil regulator PNGRB from issuing any licence for retailing of CNG and piped gas in cities after the government told the court that the board did not have powers to do so.
Chief Justice AP Shah and Justice Manmohan asked the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) not to issue any Letter of Intent or authorisation for retailing of CNG to automobiles and piped gas to households and industries till such time that the matter was heard.
This followed government telling the court that since Section 16 of the PNGRB Act had not been notified, the board did not have powers to issue authorisation for city gas projects and laying of gas pipelines.
"The Board is not currently empowered to issue authorisation for laying, building, operating or expanding any pipeline as a common carrier or contract carrier and city or any local natural gas distribution network," the Government told the court in a written submission.
It, however, stated that there was no impediment for PNGRB to undertake preparatory work and applications for city gas licence can be process till the stage of issuance of LoI.
On allegations of corruption against PNGRB Member BS Negi, the court said the government should decide on the future course of action in two weeks.