After hearing arguments on the legal validity of the Indore district collector's 'no helmet, no petrol' order, the Indore Bench of High Court reserved the matter for final orders on Monday.
On April 1 a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed challenging the collector’s order claiming it to be ultra-vires to the provisions of the state and central government’s Motor Vehicle Act and Essential Commodities Act.
In a verbal reply to the court, the government's advocate said, "The directions were imposed on the directive of the state government and are in interest of safety of people."
Advocate Saurabh Mishra, who is also the petitioner, argued that the collector do not have the power to issue such orders contravening the state or central government law.
"If any such order has to be enforced, the law should be amended accordingly," Mishra said.
Following the state-wide order issued by government, district collector Akash Tripathi on March 25 had issued orders under the MP Motor Spirit and High Speed Diesel Oil (Regulation and Control) Order, 1980, mandating fuel pump operators to sell petrol only to consumers wearing helmet.
The diktat further read that if petrol and diesel pump operators fail to comply by the orders they would be prosecuted under section 3/7 of Essential Commodities Act 1955.
The petitioner said that under the section 3(2) of Essential Commodities Act 1955, a seller cannot impose any precondition on consumer/buyer hence the order is ultra-vires of the Act.
After hearing the arguments, the division bench comprising Justice PK Jaiswal and Justice Alok Verma reserved the matter for final orders.