SC seeks to know if kits to detect, block supply of adulterated fuels exist

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the central government to inform if there is any device to detect the adulteration of petrol and diesel and can be fitted in the nozzle of dispensing machines to automatically block the release of impure fuel.

A bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud sought response from the central goverment in the course of the hearing of a PIL by a former Bahujan Samaj Party MP Seema Upadhyay seeking investigation into large scale adulteration of petrol and diesel by mafia in the Hathras region of western Uttar Pradesh.

The bench also directed the Petroleum and Natural Gas Secretary to ask a Joint Secretary to inquire into the allegations by Upadhyay against Devender Agrawal, the Samajwadi Party legislator from Hathras.

Agrawal, she claimed, had “way back in 1999 began his life as a driver of fuel tanker, and is presently the man of many crores besides being a member of the legislative assembly”.

Seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the adulteration of petrol and diesel with kerosene, she, in her petition, alleged that the subsidised kerosene oil meant for the persons residing in the rural areas or those living below poverty line was being illegally diverted to oil mafia which use it for adulterating the fuel used in different vehicles, tractors and other equipment like generators and pump engines.

Pointing to the huge profits that the adulteration of petro and diesel was generating, she this “enables the fuel adulterators/black marketeering/fuel mafia to tame the police, officials of the Food & Supply Department and the other officers of public distribution system”.

“Looking to the number of vehicles, the population and use of generators/pump engines as an alternative for energy, the dimension and degree of profit and the black money so generated is beyond imagination,” Upadhyay said in her PIL.

Because of the illegal activities of the oil mafias, not only the deserving sections of population were not getting their due but it was causing huge damage to vehicles besides contributing to pollution, she added.