The Ministry of Road Transportation and Highway (MoRTH) has informed the Supreme Court that they have no objection in putting stickers on vehicles that would help determine the fuel that the vehicles are being powered by. The stickers would depict whether the car is an electric, hybrid or BSVI-Compliant Petrol or Diesel effective April 2020. A bench of Justice Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta was informed by Additional Solicitor General ANS Nadkarni that there was no objection on the suggestion made in this regard by an advocate, who is assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the air pollution matter. “Additional Solicitor General appearing on behalf of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) says that there is no objection to the suggestion made by amicus curiae about putting stickers on the vehicles,” the bench noted in its order.
The bench also asked advocate Aparajita Singh, assisting the court as an amicus curiae, to submit a detailed submission on the matter, which is likely to be posted at the hearing scheduled for August 1st. On July 23, Singh had noted that a good way to identify cars and their fuel type would be through colour coded stickers to give an indication of the nature of the vehicle. The idea which is currently being used in Paris would be more effective than having the “odd-even” vehicle rotation scheme in Delhi and it would be easier to single out and identifying older vehicles. The hearing saw, counsel on behalf of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said they would file an affidavit in response to the affidavit filed earlier by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) on sale and manufacture of BS-VI non-compliant vehicles in India.
According to SIAM, the two previous affidavits filed by the government in this regard were contradicting to one another. The bench asked SIAM to file the affidavit by tomorrow. The original affidavit from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas had asked that sales of non-compliant should be allowed up until March 31, 2020, but no sale of non-compliant BS-VI vehicles should be permitted after April 1, 2020. “If the sale is permitted from April 1, 2020, onwards, it will adversely affect the benefits of the introduction of BS VI fuel,” the MoPNG had said. These issues had cropped up when the court was hearing a petition on air pollution in Delhi-national capital region (NCR).
It is understandable why the SIAM is looking to get clarity on matter considering that if, sale of BSVI non-compliant vehicles would require a seismic shift from manufacturers ahead of the March 2020 deadline.
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