New Delhi: Petrol price on Tuesday neared the Rs 91 per litre mark in the national capital and diesel crossed Rs 81 a litre, as fuel prices were hiked again after a two-day pause.

Petrol and diesel prices were raised by 35 paise per litre each, sending retail rates to an all-time high, according to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers.

The increase pushed petrol price to Rs 90.93 a litre in Delhi and to Rs 97.34 in Mumbai.

Diesel - the most consumed fuel in the country - now comes for Rs 81.32 a litre in the national capital and for Rs 88.44 in Mumbai.

Fuel prices had risen for 12 straight days before hitting a two-day pause button on February 21 and 22.

The increase follows a spurt in oil prices in the international market, on which India is dependent to meet its 85 per cent of crude oil needs.

Brent oil crossed USD 66 a barrel on Tuesday as US output was slow to return after a deep freeze in Texas shut production last week.

Petrol prices have been raised by Rs 4.63 per litre in February and by Rs 7.22 in 2021. Diesel rates have gone up by Rs 4.84 a litre in February and by Rs 7.45 in 2021.

Petrol price has already surged past the Rs 100-mark in some places in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, which levy the highest value-added tax (VAT) on the fuel.

Retail pump prices differ from state to state depending on the local taxes (VAT) and freight.

The increase in fuel prices has been criticised by the opposition parties such as the Congress that said that the Narendra Modi government should have cut excise duty to ease consumer pain

The Modi government had raised taxes to scoop out the benefit that arose from international oil rates plunging to a two-decade low in April/May last year. While global rates have rebounded with pick-up in demand, the government has not restored the taxes, which are at a record high.

Central and state taxes make up for 60 per cent of the retail selling price of petrol and over 54 per cent of diesel.

Let the Truth be known. If you read VB and like VB, please be a VB Supporter and Help us deliver the Truth to one and all.



Mumbai: A Mumbai court on Monday issued a bailable warrant against actor Kangana Ranaut after she failed to appear before it in connection with a defamation complaint filed against her by lyricist Javed Akhtar.

The Andheri metropolitan magistrate's court issued a summons to Ranaut on February 1, directing her to appear before it on March 1.

However, Ranaut failed to appear on Monday following which Magistrate R R Khan issued a bailable warrant against her and posted the matter for further hearing on March 26.

A lawyer in the case had earlier informed March 22 as the next date of hearing.

Ranaut's advocate Rizwan Siddiquee argued in the court that the summons and process were issued against Ranaut without following the procedure laid down in law and hence, were "bad in law".

Siddiquee said a petition would be filed in the Bombay High Court challenging the process issued by the magistrate.

Akhtar's advocate Vrinda Grover, however, argued that even if the process is being challenged, Ranaut has to appear before the court as directed, in the absence of any stay on the summons by a higher court.

"It is the accused's right to appeal against the order, or even challenge the proceedings, that no one can deny and no one can stop, not even this court. However, she (Ranaut) has failed to comply with the order of this court and there is also no stay obtained from a higher court,"the lawyer argued.

Grover then filed an application seeking a non- bailable warrant to be issued against the actor. This was opposed by Siddiquee.

Magistrate Khan observed that Ranaut was at the liberty to approach a higher court to challenge the process issued against her, but that would not absolve her from appearing before this court.

The court issued a bailable warrant against Ranaut and posted the matter for hearing on March 26.

Last month, the Mumbai police submitted a report to the court, saying an offence of defamation was made out against the actor.

Akhtar filed the complaint against Ranaut in November last year for allegedly making baseless and false statements against him which, according to him, damaged his reputation.

In his complaint, the lyricist claimed Ranaut had made defamatory comments against him in an interview by dragging his name while referring to a "coterie" existing in Bollywood, following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June last year.

Akhtar in his plea claimed the baseless comments made by Ranaut had caused damage to his reputation.