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HC issues notices to Union Govt, IOC, HPCL


Kochi: Kerala High Court Monday issued notices to the central government, Indian Oil Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd on a petition by the State Road Transport Corporation, seeking to grant it diesel subsidy.

Justice V Chidambaresh admitted the petition filed by the KSRTC Managing Director, seeking a declaration that the diesel price hike, compelling KSRTC to pay the enhanced rate was 'illegal and arbitrary', and issued the notices.

The petition has been posted to March 20.

Counsel for the oil companies contended that the state is charging Rs 12 as sales tax towards one litre of diesel and they are not prepared to forgo it.

The petitioner submitted that in a similar situation in Tamil Nadu, the High Court had directed to provide diesel subsidy to state owned buses. The court had ordered interim injunction restraining charging of diesel at a higher rate, he stated.

According to the corporation, they are facing an acute financial crisis and there was deficiency of Rs 94 crore in a month and annual revenue gap of Rs 1,128 crore.

The restriction imposed by the government is discriminatory, it was stated.

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