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'Taking Serious View Of The Matter': Calcutta HC Raps State For Non-Compliance Of Order Prohibiting Plying Of Unregistered E-Rickshaws

Aaratrika Bhaumik
2 Feb 2022 9:01 AM GMT
Taking Serious View Of The Matter: Calcutta HC Raps State For Non-Compliance Of Order Prohibiting Plying Of Unregistered E-Rickshaws
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The Calcutta High Court on Monday expressed displeasure at the conduct of the State government for not complying with the Court's earlier order directing the State to ensure a ban on plying of unregistered E-rickshaws in the State. The Court vide order dated August 17, 2018 had disposed of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition after directing the State government to ensure that...

The Calcutta High Court on Monday expressed displeasure at the conduct of the State government for not complying with the Court's earlier order directing the State to ensure a ban on plying of unregistered E-rickshaws in the State. 

The Court vide order dated August 17, 2018 had disposed of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition after directing the State government to ensure that all E-rickshaws playing in the State are registered with the Regional Transport Authorities subject to compliance of such vehicles with Rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989. The State authorities were further instructed to ensure that unregistered E-rickshaws are not allowed to ply on the roads. 

On Monday, a Bench comprising Justices Kausik Chanda and Arijit Banerjee observed that despite the aforementioned order being passed 3 years ago, the State government has failed to ensure compliance.

Expressing serious reservations, the Bench directed the Principal Secretary, Transport Department, Government of West Bengal to file a report before the next date of hearing enumerating the present status of compliance with regards to the aforementioned order of the High Court. 

"We are taking a serious view of the matter. The parent order was passed about three and a half years ago. The Principal Secretary, Transport Department, Government of West Bengal, shall file a report before us on the next date stating the present status of compliance of the order dated August 17, 2018, as modified by the subsequent orders referred to above. It is in public interest that illegal plying of unregistered E-rickshaws must be stopped. We trust and hope that the Transport Department appreciates the immediate need and importance of stopping all unregistered E-rickshaws from plying", the Court directed. 

It was also brought to the notice of the Court that a subsequent order dated August 5, 2019 had been issued by the Court wherein the State government was further instructed to ensure that no unregistered e-rickshaws are allowed to ply in the State beyond August 31, 2019. 

On Monday, the Court further recorded in its order that the counsel appearing for the State had failed to apprise the Court as to whether the previous order of the Court dated August 17, 2018 as modified by the subsequent orders had been compiled with. He further failed to inform the Court as to whether the playing of unregistered E-rickshaws had been stopped completely in the State. 

Accordingly, the Court further noted, 

"We have heard Mr. Sen, learned counsel, appearing for the State. He is not in a position to assure us that the order dated August 17, 2018, as modified by the subsequent orders referred to above, has been complied with. He is also not in a position to tell us that plying of unregistered E-rickshaws has been stopped completely. However, he, on instructions, says that registration of all E-rickshaws in the State is yet to be completed."

The matter is slated to be heard next on February 22.

Case Title: Rita Mitra v. Narayan Swarup Nigam & Ors.

Click Here To Read/Download Order 


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