SC upholds Government’s LNG Pool Pricing policy [Read Judgment]

SC upholds Government’s LNG Pool Pricing policy [Read Judgment]

The Supreme Court has upheld the Government policy decision to pool the price of Re-Gasified Liquefied Natural Gas (RLNG).

Apex Court bench comprising of Justices V. Gopala Gowda and U.U. Lalit dismissed the appeal filed by Essar Steel Ltd. against Gujarat High Court Judgment which also had upheld the policy decision of the Government

Perusing the documents before it, the bench said that the executive policy decision to pool the price of RLNG was arrived at after elaborative discussions between representatives of Qatar, India, IOC, BPCL, GAIL, ONGC and other experts in the field. It was an informed decision taken in the interest of the public at large. It is nearly impossible to predict or even control LNG prices, as the same are controlled by global market forces. The only way to have any semblance of control over the 51 52 prices of RLNG was to pool the prices of RLNG procured by the off-takers under long term contract, the Bench added.

Even though price fixing is a legislative function; the same can be delegated and can be fixed by way of executive orders as well, the Bench said. The Court also observed that the policy decision datedwas to apply to all the players within this class uniformly and across the board and the contention that the appellants have been discriminated against, or that the impugned policy decision was taken in an arbitrary, is wholly untenable in law.

Read the Judgment here.