The principle bench of National Green Tribunal at New Delhi has imposed a penalty of Rs.100 crores on Volkswagen India on finding that its vehicles emitted nitrogen oxide beyond permissible limits, causing damage to environment and health of people.
The fine amount is the estimated cost of health damage due to excess emission of nitrogen oxide from the Volkswagen group vehicles. The NGT had formed an expert panel to probe the matter. The panel filed a report in December 2018, recommending imposition of fine. Delhi was taken as the base city by the panel for its estimate.
The order was passed by the bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, in an application filed by one Satvinderjeet Singh Sodhi. The application was filed in the wake of the 2015 global emission scandal or 'Dieselgate' when the company was found guilty of tweaking its diesel engines with cheat devices to meet US regulatory standards but actually emit up to 40 times more Nitrous Oxides (NOx) in.
The German company has been directed to deposit the penalty within 24 hours before the Central Pollution Control Board, failing which the Managing Director of its Indian subsidiary will be arrested and assets will be attached, warned the four-member bench.
Volkswagen India claimed that all its vehicles are compliant with the emissions norms prescribed under Bharat Stage 4.
(story to be updated)