Delhi HC stays PNGRB notice issued to Adani Total Gas Ltd
In a big relief for Adani Total Gas Ltd, the Delhi High Court on Monday granted a stay of the public notice, along with the consequent hearing notice. issued by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) to the company.
A division bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh passed the order staying the operation and implementation of the public notice dated September 13, 2021, and the hearing notice dated January 20, 2022, issued by the PNGRB to Adani Total Gas Ltd till the next date of hearing.
The notices were issued by the PNGRB for inviting comments and holding a hearing regarding the declaration of Adani’ss City Gas Distribution Network for geographical areas of Ahmedabad city and Daskroi area and Khurja as a common carrier or contract carrier.
Adani Total Gas Ltd challenged the notices issued under the PNGRB (Guiding Principles for Declaring City or Local Natural Gas Distribution Network as Common Carrier or Contract Carrier) Regulations, 2020.
It was submitted that the issuance of notices by the PNGRB is a mechanical exercise of power under the sub-judice guiding principles without any adequate reason or basis, leading to an unfair situation where serious prejudice is unduly caused to the petitioner.
The notices have been issued in a manner and procedure not adhering to the statute, the company said, adding that the PNGRB has vastly exceeded its jurisdiction in issuing the impugned notice and hearing notice and consequently, the same is unsustainable in law and in fact. It is settled law that an order passed in excess of jurisdiction is vitiated and rendered ultra vires, it added.
The notices were issued, ultra vires the PNGRB Act and suffered from procedural ultra vires as they were passed in the absence of Member (Legal) of the Board, the company said.
In view of these submissions, the court stayed the notices and slated the further hearing for March 29.
Senior Advocate Darpan Wadhwa appeared and argued on behalf of the Adani Group, which was advised and represented by a legal team of Karanjawala & Co. comprising of Ruby Singh Ahuja, Hancy Maini, Akanksha Thapa, and Lakshya Khanna.