Section 9 in The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act, 2006
Title: Vacancies, etc., not to invalidate proceedings of the Board.
No act or proceeding of the Board shall be invalid merely by reason of—
(a) any vacancy in, or any defect in the constitution of, the Board; or
(b) any defect in the appointment of a person acting as a member of the Board; or
(c) any irregularity in the procedure of the Board not affecting the merits of the case.
Title: Officers and other employees of the Board
(1) The Central Government may, in consultation with the Board, appoint a Secretary to exercise and perform such powers and duties, under the control of the Chairperson as may be specified by regulations:
Provided that no such consultation shall be necessary for appointment of the first Secretary of the Board.
(2) The Board may, with the approval of the Central Government, determine the number, nature and categories of other officers and employees required to assist the Board in the efficient discharge of its functions.
(3) The salaries and allowances payable to and the other terms and conditions of service of the Secretary, the other officers and employees of the Board shall be such as may be prescribed.
(4) The Board may appoint consultants required to assist in the discharge of its functions on such terms and conditions as may be determined by regulations.
Title: Functions of the Board
The Board shall—
(a) protect the interest of consumers by fostering fair trade and competition amongst the entities;
(b) register entities to—
(i) market notified petroleum and petroleum products and, subject to the contractual obligations of the Central Government, natural gas;
(ii) establish and operate liquefied natural gas terminals;
(iii) establish storage facilities for petroleum, petroleum products or natural gas exceeding such capacity as may be specified by regulations;
(c) authorise entities to—
(i) lay, build, operate or expand a common carrier or contract carrier;
(ii) lay, build, operate or expand city or local natural gas distribution network;
(d) declare pipelines as common carrier or contract carrier;
(e) regulate, by regulations,--
(i) access to common carrier or contract carrier so as to ensure fair trade and competition amongst entities and for that purpose specify pipeline access code;
(ii) transportation rates for common carrier or contract carrier;
(iii) access to city or local natural gas distribution network so as to ensure fair trade and competition amongst entities as per pipeline access code;
(f) in respect of notified petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas—
(i) ensure adequate availability;
(ii) ensure display of information about the maximum retail prices fixed by the entity for consumers at retail outlets;
(iii) monitor prices and take corrective measures to prevent restrictive trade practice by the entities;
(iv) secure equitable distribution for petroleum and petroleum products;
(v) provide, by regulations, and enforce, retail service obligations for retail outlets and marketing service obligations for entities;
(vi) monitor transportation rates and take corrective action to prevent restrictive trade practice by the entities;
(g) levy fees and other charges as determined by regulations;
(h) maintain a data bank of information on activities relating to petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas;
(i) lay down, by regulations, the technical standards and specifications including safety standards in activities relating to petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas, including the construction and operation of pipeline and infrastructure projects related to downstream petroleum and natural gas sector;
(j) perform such other functions as may be entrusted to it by the Central Government to carry out the provisions of this Act.
Title: Powers regarding complaints and resolution of disputes by the Board
(1) The Board shall have jurisdiction to—
(a) adjudicate upon and decide any dispute or matter arising amongst entities or between an entity and any other person on issues relating to refining, processing, storage, transportation, distribution, marketing and sale of petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas according to the provisions of Chapter V, unless the parties have agreed for arbitration;
(b) receive any complaint from any person and conduct any inquiry and investigation connected with the activities relating to petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas on contravention of—
(i) retail service obligations;
(ii) marketing service obligations;
(iii) display of retail price at retail outlets;
(iv) terms and conditions subject to which a pipeline has been declared as common carrier or contract carrier or access for other entities was allowed to a city or local natural gas distribution network, or authorisation has been granted to an entity for laying, building, expanding or operating a pipeline as common carrier or contract carrier or authorisation has been granted to an entity for laying, building, expanding or operating a city or local natural gas distribution network;
(v) any other provision of this Act or the rules or the regulations or orders made thereunder.
(2) While deciding a complaint under sub-section (1), the Board may pass such orders and issue such directions as it deems fit or refer the matter for investigation according to the provisions of Chapter V.
Title: Procedure of the Board
(1) The Board shall have, for the purposes of discharging its functions under this Act, the same powers as are vested in a civil court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), while trying a suit, in respect of the following matters, namely:--
(a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of any person and examining him on oath;
(b) subject to the provisions of sections 123 and 124 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (1 of 1872), requisitioning any public record or document or a copy of such record or document, from any office and production of such documents;
(c) receiving evidence on affidavits;
(d) issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents;
(e) dismissing an application for default or deciding it, ex parte;
(f) setting aside any order of dismissal of any application for default or any order passed by it, ex parte;
(g) granting interim relief;
(h) reviewing its decision; and
(i) any other matter which may be prescribed.
(2) Every proceeding before the Board shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of sections 193 and 228, and for the purposes of section 196, of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) and the Board shall be deemed to be a civil court for the purposes of section 195 and Chapter XXVI of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).
(3) The Board shall be guided by the principles of natural justice and subject to other provisions of this Act and of any rules made thereunder, shall have powers to regulate its own procedure including the places at which it shall conduct its business.