Mansingh relieved

Vol 14, PW 19 (24 Mar 11) News in Brief

Gas regulator Labanyendu Mansingh must have been pleased when the Supreme Court of India brought forward to May 5 from August 30 the next hearing in a crucial case to decide if he is to remain powerless for the remainder of his term.

On March 8, we hear, the Supreme Court said it would devote two hours on May 5 to hear the PNGRB’s appeal to ‘modify’ a Delhi High Court order on January 2010 barring it from issuing retail gas licenses or authorising gas pipelines. “Two hours is not enough time to hear all the arguments,” clarifies an industry source.

“One more court date might be needed but at least the process has begun.” Mansingh is scheduled to step down as gas regulator on October 10 this year and must be desperately hoping the Delhi High Court ruling is overturned in good time.

Until it is, he remains powerless and cannot issue licences to the winners of the second round of retail gas auctions or to the winners of the ongoing third and fourth rounds.