Contempt charge: HC asks Centre to file affidavit within a week

The Gujarat High Court Thursday asked the central government to file an affidavit explaining why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against it for not implementing the court's July 2012 order of providing natural gas to Ahmedabad at the same rate at which Delhi and Mumbai are getting.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala passed the order as so far the Centre has not challenged the order at a higher forum. A petition in this regard has been moved by Dhrangadhra Prakruti Mandal.

"...till today, no Special Leave Petition has been filed against our order dated July 25, 2012...In such circumstances, we direct the respondent No. 1 (the central government) to file an affidavit within a week as to why the prayer in this application should not be allowed," the court ordered while posting the matter for further hearing on January 17.

According to the petitioner, acting on its public interest litigation, the HC had passed a judgment last year and directed the Centre to give natural gas to Ahmedabad city at the same rate at which Mumbai and Delhi get under the Administered Price Mechanism.

The petitioner has contended that the Centre has so far neither complied with the directions of the court nor challenged it. And therefore, it sought to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the government.

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