Supreme Court lifts ban on Diesel Vehicles in Delhi/ NCR
At the instance of German Car Manufacturer Mercedes Bench moving Supreme Court of India seeking relief, the apex court has lifted ban imposed by it in December 2015 on registration of diesel vehicles with engine capacity of 2000 cc or more in Delhi/ NCR after imposing Environment Compensation Charge of 1% on ex-showroom price of vehicle.
Earlier the ban was first imposed in the month of December 2015 as a temporary measure and was extended again and again in order to reduce toxicity in Delhi’s air and make Delhi livable.
Attorney General Mr. Mukul Rohtagi appearing for Government of India opposed the idea of Environment Compensation Charge on diesel vehicles with engine capacity more than 2000 cc stating there is no rationale to show that only those vehicles pollute more. He further argued that such cars meet better emission norms that that of small diesel cars. He also resisted imposition of such charge on the ground that courts do not have authority to impose such charge and executive may be left free to decide on such issue.
However special bench of apex court comprising of Chief Justice of India Mr. T.S. Thakur, Justice A. K. Sikri and Justice R. Banumathi allowed registration of such vehicles in Delhi/ NCR with a rider whereby it imposed Green Cess of 1% on ex-showroom price of above said vehicles and directed the transport authorities to register the same after proof of payment of Environment Compensation Charge.
Said bench further directed Central Pollution Control Board to open separate account for deposit of collected Environment Compensation Charge.
The apex court left it open for Government of India to apply such charge while registration of diesel vehicles with engine capacity less than 2000 cc.