Top court dismisses Bajaj Auto plea, cites air pollution in Delhi. Details here
The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea filed by Bajaj Auto against Delhi government's decision to issue over 4,200 permits to electric auto rickshaws citing how locals in Delhi are adversely affected by air pollution. Bajaj Auto had moved the top court and stated that the Delhi government's move was ‘arbitrary’ and 'discriminatory' against those who manufacture CNG auto rickshaws.
Bajaj Auto, in its plea, had said that the Delhi government's decision points to restricting market opportunities. “The decision tantamounts to an indirect ban on new CNG TSRs, and also amounts to restricting market opportunities to one class of vehicles over another, without rational basis or intelligible differentia."
A bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao noted that the advertisement issued by the Delhi government through which it invited applications for electric auto rickshaw is in conformity with FAME-II scheme and the Electric Vehicle policy 2020. ""Residents of Delhi are badly affected by the air pollution, undoubtedly a part of which is contributed by vehicles. Even though CNG autos are BS-VI compliant, there is still some carbon emission."
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The bench, which also had Justices B R Gavai and B V Nagarathna, also noted that the fundamental right of the applicant - Bajaj Auto in this case - had not been violated. “Amendment to Motor Vehicles Act cannot be read to mean that addition of e-autos on the road can be done over and above one lakh autos."
The Delhi government has stated that over 92,000 auto rickshaws running on CNG have been registered and that there is an ongoing process of replacing older CNG vehicles.
(With PTI inputs)