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'Petitioner Fully Aware How To Make Propaganda In Press': Delhi High Court Dismisses PIL Alleging Corruption & Scam In Oil PSUs

Akshita Saxena
27 Oct 2021 4:46 AM GMT
Petitioner Fully Aware How To Make Propaganda In Press: Delhi High Court Dismisses PIL Alleging Corruption & Scam In Oil PSUs
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The Delhi High Court yesterday dismissed a "so called PIL", seeking action against officials of oil PSUs like ONGC and GAIL, for alleged corruption and involvement in purchase of sub-standard goods.The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh, while dismissing the petition, observed,"It ought to be kept in mind that fraud cannot be established by mere assertion by...

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The Delhi High Court yesterday dismissed a "so called PIL", seeking action against officials of oil PSUs like ONGC and GAIL, for alleged corruption and involvement in purchase of sub-standard goods.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh, while dismissing the petition, observed,

"It ought to be kept in mind that fraud cannot be established by mere assertion by this Petitioner. It requires convincing evidence to be led before the court. Fraud cannot be established by way of annexures in a writ petition."

The Nationalist Power Party, led by its President Shiv Pratap Singh Pawar, had moved the High Court alleging that several government companies like Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, Indian Oil Corporation Limited, GAIL and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation are not providing investigation report against the alleged illegal activities in their organisation.

He urged for termination of the officials involved in the purchase of sub-standard goods from several vendors, as stated in the petition. He also submitted that all those companies who have supplied sub-standard material to the aforesaid PSUs should be blacklisted and investigation of the matter be handed over to the CBI.

Discarding the aforesaid contentions, the Bench said,

"Transactions in question is of year 2013 onwards about supply of goods to HPCL, BPCL, IOCL, GAIL and ONGC. The quality of goods is sub-standard, as per opinion of this Petitioner. For checking the quality of goods, evidence of expert is a must. Thus, this court sees no reason to entertain this type of petition under Article 226 of the Constitution. It appears that this litigation is a motivated litigation and not a genuine PIL at all."

Regarding the 1st prayer in the petition about getting certain investigation reports from the PSUs, the Court said that an application should have been preferred by the Petitioner under the Right to Information Act, and if the same is yet not supplied, there are "inbuilt provisions" under Act, to prefers appeals.

On the prayer that PSUs should be directed to terminate all officials involved in the alleged scam, the Court remarked,

"This is an absurd prayer."

It added, "No officer can be terminated by this court without the scam being proved and without joining them as party Respondents and without giving them an opportunity of being heard."

Same reasoning was adopted for not granting the prayer for blacklisting all private companies involved in the alleged scam.

On the last prayer about giving a direction to the CBI to investigate all tenders awarded to the private companies involved in the alleged scam, the Court said,

"This prayer also cannot be granted by this Court because it involves detailed allegations against these companies. Properly, an FIR should be registered and there are remedies available to the Petitioner under the CrPC. Unless such process is initiated, no investigation can be handed over to the CBI."

In parting, the Court observed,

"It further appears that this Petitioner is always in search of publicity. A press conference was addressed as stated in Annexure P4. Thus, it appears that the Petitioner is fully aware how to make propaganda in press and public. Instead of doing this, CrPC should have been followed if they're interested in initiating proceedings against the companies allegedly supplying sub-standard material."

Case Title: Nationalist Power Party v. Union of India & Ors.

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