Supreme Court asks government to check rampant adulteration at fuel pumps

"It may involve very powerful people...even politicians, since they are the ones who can easily own petrol pumps. But something has to be done now," said the bench.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Updated: August 27, 2016 9:31 am
Supreme court, Sc, Supreme court on petrol pumps, adulteration at petrol pumps, Supreme court to government, government of india, adulteration of petrol, TS Thakur, Chief jiustice of india, TS Thakur, IOCL, BPCL, india news Prior to Supreme Court’s direction, in 2006 the petroleum ministry had come up with a marker system whereby kerosene, blended with a permanent dye, when mixed with petrol or diesel, the adulterated fuel turned pink. (Source: File Photo)

Underlining the “rampant” adulteration of petrol and diesel at fuel pumps, the Supreme Court Friday urged the government to come up with measures such as installing technologically advanced machines that stop dispensing fuel when it is mixed with adulterants, especially kerosene.

A bench led by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur further asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar to consider using transparent fuel pipes at pumps so that consumer could see whether the fuel turns pink as a sign of its mixing with kerosene.

In 2006, the petroleum ministry had come up with the marker system whereby kerosene, which is supplied through the public distribution system (PDS), is blended with a permanent dye, and when it is mixed with petrol or diesel, the adulterated fuel turns pink.

But this visual test procedure, the bench said, could not help the consumers since black opaque pipes are used to fill up the fuel tanks. “Even if the colour changes, how would a consumer know? There can be transparent pipes to enable a consumer see whether the colour has changed,” it observed. The Supreme Court suggested that the government should resort to technologically advanced measures and new machines could be installed by oil companies, including IOCL, BPCL and HPCL, to make sure no adulterated fuel is released by the pipes.

“There could be machines that should stop dispensing fuel as soon as adulterated fuel enters the pipe. It would involve updation of the technology that are used at petrol pumps today. But something must be done. It is a very rampant and common problem. Billions of litres of adulterated petrol is flowing in the market. It must be checked,” the bench told the SG.

Acknowledging the court’s concern, Kumar adduced a reply by the petroleum ministry in the Parliament, elucidating more than 3000 cases of prosecution in the last three years for selling adulterated fuel.

“It is there and it is very rampant…now we know there is a big problem of fuel adulteration. One case of prosecution may involve thousands of litres of fuel. It is very unfortunate but the question for us now is how to improve the system,” said the bench.

It added that the business of adulterated fuel may involve big and powerful people. “It may involve very powerful people…even politicians since they are the ones who can easily own petrol pumps. But something has to be done now,” said the bench.

On his part, the SG cited the 2005-murder of Indian Oil Corporation sales manager S Manjunath, who had exposed corruption and oil adulteration racket in Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh. He said that the government would consider all the suggestions and would file a detailed affidavit on existing and proposed measures for a crackdown on adulterated fuel in four weeks.

Supreme Court orders probe against SP MLA

The Supreme Court Friday ordered an inquiry against Samjwadi Party MLA Devendra Agrawal for allegedly owning several benami petrol pumps in the name of his family members in Uttar Pradesh and selling adulterated fuel. The court said that an officer not below the rank of Joint Secretary in the petroleum ministry shall carry out the inquiry and will submit a report in six weeks. The order came on a PIL filed by Seema Upadhyay, a former MP from Bahujan Samaj Party.

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  1. A
    ak dev
    Aug 27, 2016 at 7:50 am
    Most petrol pump do adulteration. I have noticed that by keeping petrol in a bottle for month standstill, clearly separates something at the bottom and petrol at top. The ratio of mix is about 10 to 15%. Sake the bottle and they mix again.
    Reply
    1. R
      Rajendra Popat
      Aug 27, 2016 at 5:06 am
      Extremely serious issue. Government must act fast.
      Reply
      1. S
        sajeev
        Aug 27, 2016 at 7:51 am
        SC should specifically put the responsibility on the State Governments.
        Reply
        1. S
          Somendramohan Ghosh
          Aug 27, 2016 at 6:05 am
          HOW BS IV ENGINE WILL FUNCTION TO MAINTAIN THE PRESCRIBED EMISSION STANDARD ?
          Reply
          1. S
            Somendramohan Ghosh
            Aug 27, 2016 at 6:03 am
            POLICE KNOWS EVERYTHING..... HOW SIPHONING and BLENDING TAKING PLACE AND WHERE ARE THOSE ADULTERATION SPOTS !
            Reply
            1. S
              Sushil Surana.
              Sep 19, 2016 at 7:18 am
              If OMC's want then it is very simple to stop adulteration of kerosene oil with Diesel and Petrol. They have already got the mechanism called Automation system.But for some unknown reasons all the features of the automation system are not activated by OMC's.lt;br/gt;There is a provision in the system which shows Density of the product automatically and lt;br/gt;if this provision is activated then it is impossible to adulterate even by 2%.
              Reply
              1. V
                v bhaskar
                Aug 29, 2016 at 10:27 am
                we have solutions to prevent fuel adulteration in India with high security locks for fuel tankers, dispensing machines as well as underground tanks. please see at and call for a free demo.
                Reply
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