Section 21 in The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board Act, 2006

Title: Right of first use, etc

Description: (1) The entity laying, building, operating or expanding a pipeline for transportation of petroleum and petroleum products or laying, building, operating or expanding a city or local natural gas distribution network shall have right of first use for its own requirement and the remaining capacity shall be used amongst entities as the Board may, after issuing a declaration under section 20, determine having regard to the needs of fair competition in marketing and availability of petroleum and petroleum products throughout the country: Provided that in case of an entity engaged in both marketing of natural gas and laying, building, operating or expanding a pipeline for transportation of natural gas on common carrier or contract carrier basis, the Board shall require such entities to comply with the affiliate code of conduct as may be specified by regulations and may require such entity to separate the activities of marketing of natural gas and the transportation including ownership of the pipeline within such period as may be allowed by the Board and only within the said period, such entity shall have right of first use. (2) An entity other than an entity authorised to operate shall pay transportation rate for use of common carrier or contract carrier to the entity operating it as an authorised entity. (3) An entity authorised to lay, build, operate or expand a pipeline as common carrier or contract carrier or to lay, build, operate or expand a city or local natural gas distribution network shall be entitled to institute proceedings before the Board to prevent, or to recover damages for, the infringement of any right relating to authorisation. Explanation.--For the purposes of this sub-section, "infringement of any right" means doing of any act by any person which interferes with common carrier or contract carrier or causes prejudice to the authorised entity.

Title: Transportation tariff

Description: (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Board shall lay down, by regulations, the transportation tariffs for common carriers or contract carriers or city or local natural gas distribution network and the manner of determining such tariffs. (2) For the purposes of sub-section (1), the Board shall be guided by the following, namely:-- (a) the factors which may encourage competition, efficiency, economic use of the resources, good performance and optimum investments; (b) safeguard the consumer interest and at the same time recovery of cost of transportation in a reasonable manner; (c) the principles rewarding efficiency in performance; (d) the connected infrastructure such as compressors, pumps, metering units, storage and the like connected to the common carriers or contract carriers; (e) benchmarking against a reference tariff calculated based on cost of service, internal rate of return, net present value or alternate mode of transport; (f) policy of the Central Government applicable to common carrier, contract carrier and city or local distribution natural gas network.

Title: Suspension or cancellation of authorization

Description: If the Board, on an application of an affected party or on its own motion, is satisfied that the entity in favour of which authorisation has been granted under section 19 has failed to comply with any conditions of authorisation, it may, after giving an opportunity to such entity of being heard, either suspend the authorisation for such period as the Board may think fit or cancel the authorisation: Provided that where the Board is of the opinion that an authorised entity persistently acts in a manner prejudicial to the interests of consumers, it may take action for the suspension of the authorisation immediately subject to the opportunity of hearing being given subsequently, after which action so taken may be confirmed or revoked.

Title: Board to settle disputes

Description: (1) Save as otherwise provided for arbitration in the relevant agreements between entities or between an entity or any other person, as the case may be, if any dispute arises, in respect of matters referred to in sub-section (2) among entities or between an entity and any other person, such dispute shall be decided by a Bench consisting of the Member (Legal) and one or more members nominated by the Chairperson: Provided that if the members of the Bench differ on any point or points, they shall state the point or points on which they differ and refer the same to a member other than a member of the Bench for hearing on such point or points and such point or points shall be decided according to the opinion of that member. (2) The Bench constituted under sub-section (1) shall exercise, on and from the appointed day, all such jurisdiction, powers and authority as were exercisable by a civil court on any matter relating to— (a) refining, processing, storage, transportation and distribution of petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas by the entities; (b) marketing and sale of petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas including the quality of service and security of supply to the consumers by the entities; and (c) registration or authorisation issued by the Board under section 15 or section 19. (3) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), the Board shall have the power to decide matters referred to in sub-section (2) on or after the appointed day.

Title: Filing of complaints

Description: (1) A complaint may be filed before the Board by any person in respect of matters relating to entities or between entities on any matter arising out of the provisions of this Act: Provided that the complaints of individual consumers maintainable before a consumer disputes redressal forum under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (68 of 1986) shall not be taken up by the Board but shall be heard and disposed of by such forum. Explanation. -- For the purposes of this sub-section, the expression "consumer disputes redressal forum" shall mean the district forum, State Commission or, the National Commission, as the case may be, constituted under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (68 of 1986). (2) Every complaint made under sub-section (1) shall be filed within sixty days from the date on which any act or conduct constituting a contravention took place and shall be in such form and shall be accompanied by such fee as may be provided by regulations: Provided that the Board may entertain a complaint after the expiry of the said period if it is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not filing the complaint within that period. (3) On receipt of a complaint under sub-section (1), the Board shall decide within thirty days whether there is a prima facie case against the entity or entities concerned and may either conduct enquiry on its own or refer the matter for investigation under this Chapter, to an Investigating Officer having jurisdiction; and, where the matter is referred to such Investigating Officer, on receipt of a report from such Investigating Officer, the Board may, hear and dispose of the complaint as a dispute if it falls under sub-section (2) of section 27 and in any other case, it may pass such orders and issue such directions as it deems fit. (4) Where the Central Government considers that a matter arising out of the provisions of this Act is required to be investigated, it shall make a reference to the Board and the provisions of this Act shall apply as if such reference were a complaint made to the Board.