New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday pulled up the Centre over a plea alleging the establishment of a system of supply of adulterated fuel by using subsidized kerosene in Uttar Pradesh.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India, T.S. Thakur, sought the Centre’s response over what was being done on the issue of sale of adulterated diesel. It asked the Solicitor General to file an affidavit on behalf of the petroleum ministry spelling out measures to stop adulteration.

The public interest litigation which was brought by Seema Upadhyay, a Lok Sabha member, alleged nexus between ration shop owners, civil supplies department, police and politicians who jointly ensure that subsidized kerosene was being used to adulterate fuel which was sold to neighbouring petrol pumps.

The petitioner claims that as a result, a parallel system encouraging black marketing was being created and subsidized kerosene was not being given to the poor, for whom it had been earmarked.

Aiming to check adulteration, the petitioner sought a CBI investigation into the alleged system of black marketing and grant of kerosene oil to beneficiaries on the basis of Aadhaar card or under the public distribution system.

Alleging disservice to citizens, the petition stated that kerosene oil (non-subsidized) which costs the government approximately 40.49 per litre is sold to the citizens in the form of diesel at 54 per litre. This contributes to pollution as the fuel is adulterated and the poor for whom the subsidized kerosene was earmarked remain deprived.

The lack of coordination between the Central government and the state in respect of monetary mechanism results in black marketeering and adulteration racket, the petition added.