Representative Wichet Thienthong named the Transport Ministry and Land Transport Department as first and second defendants, saying they abused their authority by placing too heavy a regulatory and financial burden on people.
Article 10 of the regulation issued last October 24 by then deputy transport minister Sansern Wongchaum requires that newly registered metered taxis in Bangkok have to be fuelled by NGV only.
The regulation, in effect since December 31, caused the Land Transport Department to refuse to register taxis without NGV tanks installed.
The drivers requested the court to revoke Article 10 and issue an injunction against its enforcement pending the ruling.
The court accepted the petition for consideration of whether the legal review and injunction were merited.
The complaint said the plaintiffs suffered greatly because not enough NGV stations - all operated solely by PTT Plc - were available, and each filling took too long, about one to two hours. During that time they had no fares.
Taxis registered before this regulation were mostly rented in two shifts - 6am6pm and 6pm6am, the writ said.
A taxi travels about 300 kilometres on one shift and consumes one kilogram of gas for every 7.5 kilometres. Since only two NGV tank sizes are available - a 100kilogram tank, which could last up to 150 kilometres, and a 70kilogram tank, which could go for up to 112 kilometres - one shift needed two fillings, which wasted a lot of time, the plaintiffs argued.
The regulation violated the taxi drivers' rights by giving them no choice in using other appropriate fuels and constitutional rights for people's vocation and fair competition by forcing people to use fuel from only one supplier, they said.
The association had submitted letters to PTT and the Land Transport Department seeking a delay or postponement of the rule but were turned down, the plaint said.
by Kesinee Tangkhio