The Supreme Court has dismissed Adani's plea on Tuesday, which challenges the bidding process for the supply of PNG and CNG in three regions of Ahmedabad district.
The bench of Justice U Lalit, Justice S Ravindra Bhat, and Justice Hrishikesh Roy has verified the Gujarat High Court's September 2018 judgment, that permits the supply of natural gas in the three regions of outer Ahmedabad district by the state-run gas distributor Gujarat Gas.
Adani had challenged Regulation 18 of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) (allows parties to lay, build, operate, or extend the city or local natural gas distribution) Regulations, 2008 as violative of Articles 14 and 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution, and Section 16 of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act, 2006.
In the bidding process rolled out by the PNGRB in 2016, the entity has lost to state-run Gujarat Gas Limited to supply PNG and CNG in Sanand, Bavla, and Dholka of the district.
In its 79-page judgment, the Supreme court said, "It is held that Regulation 18 is neither arbitrary, nor ultra vires. The objective underlying Regulation 18, is compatible with the overall objectives of the PNGRB Act.
The top court added that Regulation 18 is not contraindicated by any particular provision of the Act.
The Supreme court had further stated that as a sectoral regulator, the PNGRB is entrusted with the power to frame relevant regulations to ensure the objectives of the Act, and so the challenge to Regulation 18 cannot succeed.
The Supreme court's bench of Justices said that the PNGRB is charged with the power to frame relevant regulations and also to bring about equality in the marketplace.
The bench of Justices noted that Adani's claim subsequently challenged authorisation when its bid was unsuccessful.
The bench noted, "It is held, that exclusion of the disputed areas was justified in the overall facts and circumstances."
The Gujarat Gas has submitted a report, "Adani was always aware of its rights, and has taken the advantage of the opportunity to participate in the bidding for the excluded regions."
Gujarat Gas has complained against Adani to the regulator, accused it of unauthorised extention of its gas distribution network in the three regions of the district.
The Supreme Court also imposed a cost of rupees 10 lakh on Adani which would be payable to the Central government.