A petition has been filed in the Delhi High Court, seeking directions to form a high powered committee to look into the matter of rationalization of the prices of petrol and diesel in the entire country and especially in Delhi.
The petition has been filed by Susheel Mahajan through advocates N. Pradeep Sharma and Harsh K Sharma. It seeks directions to the Centre to reduce the irrational and unjustified taxes in the form of Excise and VAT, effectively and to take remedial steps to lower the prices.
The petition has pointed out: “The increase in petrol / diesel rates has a direct impact on the pocket of common man. The common man is struggling to meet his two ends meet during the COVID – 19 pandemic. The increase in excise duty and VAT is irrational and unjustified. Such a step would also have an impact on essential commodities and hence the prices of essential commodities would also increase many folds.”
The petitioner has submitted that the notification of May 5, 2020, imposing central excise duty, clearly speaks about the notification being in the public interest, which is contrary to the present facts and circumstances. Also, the Dearness Allowance of government employees and the pensioners have been frozen, which is also why the common man is burdened. This hike (in fuel prices) cannot be justified by giving reason of public interest.
Moreover, the VAT imposed by the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, is applied without application of proper mind and is irrational.
The petitioner has further contented that the irrational implementation of VAT by GNCTD would encourage smuggling from the neighboring states and especially the towns in NCR like NOIDA, Gurugram, Bahadurgarh, Sonepat, Faridabad etc.
The petitioner has also submitted that by not providing the required essential commodities to the general public at reasonable rates, there is a clear violation of the Article 21 of Constitution of India.
– India Legal Bureau