New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed state-owned GAIL (India) Ltd to bid in a tender for the Ennore-Tuticorin natural gas pipeline after the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) rejected its bid.

A bench of justices J. Chelameswar and S.A. Bobde directed PNGRB to consider GAIL’s bid and take appropriate action in accordance with law.

The PNGRB had rejected GAIL’s commercial bid since it had imposed a civil penalty of 1 lakh on GAIL for denying open access to Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Ltd (GSPCL) to the Dabhol pipeline. GAIL had approached the apex court seeking a stay on this penalty so that its bid could be accepted.

Urging both the companies to amicably settle their dispute, the bench said, “You know the importance of the commodity and the pipelines involved. You should sort it out". The court also emphasised that since the two companies involved were government owned companies, the only persons who would gain anything from this situation would be private players.

The court has issued notice to PNGRB.