MADURAI: The Madras High Court bench here has issued notices to the Union and State Governments on a petition challenging the Petroleum Ministry’s mandate to LPG consumers to submit details of their Aadhaar card and bank accounts to avail of subsidy under the DBTL Scheme.
The petitioner, S M Ananthamurugan, submitted that as per a latest survey more than 40 crore people owned gas connections in India of whom 50 per cent did not have bank accounts.
He contended that through the DBTL mandate the Union Government was forcing LPG consumers to open a bank account. Ideally subsidies must be provided before a product is purchased or at the time of delivery of the product. Under the DBTL, the subsidy would be credited into customers’ bank accounts after the cylinder is delivered.
This virtually means the oil companies are taking the full money for a cylinder from a customer and then returning a part. Citing that the SC had earlier directed the Centre not to insist on Aadhaar for doling out any welfare scheme, petitioner’s counsel argued that under the Direct Benefit Transfer of LPG Scheme LPG consumers with Aadhaar cards are being given first preference. This amounted to contempt of court.
According to him, if the Government wanted to eliminate bogus LPG consumers, they should have identified such consumers and weeded them out instead of introducing the DBTL Scheme.
Hence he sought an order of injunction restraining the Union Government from implementing the DBTL Scheme in its present form.
Hearing the plea, a bench comprising Justices V Dhanapalan and V M Velumani ordered notices to the Union Cabinet.