The Delhi High Court has reiterated its earlier direction to the Centre to resume gas supply to Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd (DFPCL) plant in Maharashtra till the government finalises guidelines on supply of natural gas to fertiliser companies.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath directed the Department of Fertilisers (DoF) under Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) to resume supply of gas to DFPCL.
The bench passed the interim order saying that "without finalizing the guidelines and without implementing the policy decision against other two P and K fertilizer manufacturing units, supply to the petitioner (DFPCL) cannot be discontinued".
The direction came on DFPCL's plea challenging the order of the single judge who had refused to interfere with the government's policy to discontinue supply of natural gas to P and K fertilizer companies.
The single judge, however, had directed the government to supply gas to DFPCL till the policy was implemented upon two other P and K fertiliser companies--Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd (RCF) and Gujarat State Fertilizer Corporation Ltd (GSFC).
The court also refused to grant interim stay of the July 7 order, as sought by the government, saying there was no justifiable reason to do so.
The ministry had sought stay of the order on the ground that RCF and GSFC produce urea, along with P and K fertiliser, are integrated government-owned plants and cannot be placed on par with DFPCL which only makes P and K fertiliser.
The court will hear the matter on January 18. The single judge had in his July 7 order also said that
it was incumbent upon the government to implement its policy uniformly and without discrimination.
The order of the Oil Ministry to divert gas supply for DFPCL, which produces nitrogen phosphorus and potassium (NPK)- based fertilizers, to urea manufacturing units came in the light of the Fertilizer Department's finding that urea manufacturers had a shortfall in their liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply.