Adani’s city gas project: SC quashes PNGRB order

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Updated: January 30, 2019 6:58:48 AM

However, the state government had argued that less than 25% pipeline has been laid down by Adani and its deemed authorisation has also been rejected.

The company had challenged the vires of Regulation 18 of the PNGRB (Authorizing Entities to Lay, Build, Operate or Expand City Local Natural Gas Distribution Networks) Regulations, 2008, as being contrary to and violative of the PNGRB Act, 2006.

In a major relief to Adani Gas, the Supreme Court on Tuesday quashed the Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board’s (PNGRB) decisions that restricted the company from developing City Gas Distribution (CGD) network in Jaipur and Udaipur in Rajasthan.

A bench headed by Arun Mishra, while quashing the 2011 orders that restrained Adani from network expansion in the two cities, asked the board to take a fresh call on the issue. Adani had appealed against the Rajasthan High Court’s April 2015 order that held that the company did not have the authorisation from the Centre to continue work in the two cities.

The company had challenged the vires of Regulation 18 of the PNGRB (Authorizing Entities to Lay, Build, Operate or Expand City Local Natural Gas Distribution Networks) Regulations, 2008, as being contrary to and violative of the PNGRB Act, 2006.

Adani argued that the Rajasthan government was “bound by the principle of legitimate expectation and promissory estoppel,” and its actions of issuing the public notice in 2016 to invite bids was “illegal, contrary and bad in law.”

However, the state government had argued that less than 25% pipeline has been laid down by Adani and its deemed authorisation has also been rejected.

The dispute arose after the state government in May 2011 withdrew the NOC granted by it for laying down gas network pipeline in the two cities. This was pursuant to PNGRB directing Adani to stop the work in October 2007, when it had already laid approximately 85 km of pipeline in both the cities.

The withdrawal of the NOC was challenged by Adani before the HC, which dismissed it plea. According to the company, while acting in good faith on the strength of the NOC, it had invested huge sums of money and efforts in order to develop infrastructure for Udaipur and Jaipur in an expeditious and a time-bound manner.

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