SC approves 112 petrol pumps LPG agencies

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New Delhi, Nov 7 (UNI) The Supreme Court today accepted the recommendations of two-judge committee appointed by the apex court to examine the legality of allotment of 417 petrol pumps, LPG gas agencies and kerosene oil depots by the previous NDA government and approved 112 of them.

Mr Vajpayee had cancelled all the allotments on August 9 ,2002 following exposure in media that the allotments were illegally and inspired by political connections, political patronage and other extraneoas considerations.

The committee comprising retired Supreme Court Judge S C Agarwal and Delhi High Court judge P K Bahri in its report had found 297 allotments illegal but approved the allotment of 112 petrol pumps, gas agencies and kerosene oil depots.

A bench comprising Justices C K Thakker and R V Raveendran accepted the report of the committee and directed that 112 allotments approved by the committee would not be cancelled .

The Supreme Court, however, directed that in those cases where affected parties had not filed objections against the cancellation order and also those parties who had filed objections belatedly, the cancellation stood..

In 297 cases, in which the committee had found the allotments were not on merit but made due to political considerations patronage and extraneous considerations would also stand cancelled as the Supreme Court accepted their recomendations.

Many allottees had challenged the cancellation order on the ground that 2-4 dealers haD already made thier outlets operational before the cancellation order was passed.

The apex court in its judgement said, ''cancellation order of the Union government with respect to 112 petrol pumps, gas agencies and kerosene oil depots is set aside.

Committee report is accepted and 112 cancellations not approved by the comittee are set aside.

A media report had suggested that the beneficiaries of the allotment were mostly relatives and friends of top politicianas.

Lauding the assistance rendered by the Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium and other junior lawyers the Supreme court directed the public sector companies to compensate them adequately for the work load handled by them.

UNI SC SY VC2143

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