It may come as a good news to auto makers and people aspiring to buy diesel SUVs and cars with engine capacity of 2000cc and above, since the Supreme Court on Wednesday said that it is open to lifting the ban on sale of these vehicles in the national capital region on payment of one-time green cess.
“We are inclined to allow registration. We are open to the registration subject to some kind of one-time cess,” a bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi said.
The bench said this after senior advocates Gopal Subramaniam and Gopal Jain appeared for automobile majors like Mercedes and Toyota to explore possibility of levy of green cess at the time of registration of diesel cars and SUVs. They said they were ready to deposit 1 per cent of ex-showroom cost of these big diesel cars on voluntary basis.
Among the measures taken to control alarming pollution level in Delhi and NCR, the apex court had banned registration of diesel-run sports utility vehicles and high-end private cars with engine capacity of 2000 CC and above till March 31.
“We are planning to allow car manufacturers to resume sale of these big diesel cars subject to some green cess as these are prima facie more polluting than the petrol variants. The person who buys these big diesel cars must know that he is buying a polluting vehicle and that is why he is paying more,” CJI Thakur said.
The court agreed and posted the matter for further hearing on July 4.
However, the bench has sought reports with regard to the research works carried out on the impact of Euro-IV norms on vehicular emission.
“Is there any emission standard for vehicle manufacturers in India? Who enforces it on vehicles when they are manufactured? If you are failing in Europe, what is the guarantee that you are not failing in India? Is there any authority which has tested the cars for emission norm compliance prior to permitting their sales in India,” the bench asked.
The bench asked the car manufacturers to provide a roadmap for imposing green cess on big diesel vehicles and wanted to know from the government the testing mechanism for pollution norm compliance prior to permitting manufacturers to sell their cars.
Both the lawyers said the manufacturers Mercedes and Toyota met the emission standards and were ready to place the records before the court.