A Supreme Court Bench comprising of Chief Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice Arun Kumar Mishra has refused to entertain a petition challenging the order passed by the National Green Tribunal, prohibiting vehicles over 15 years old from plying on Delhi roads. The Court was in favor of encouraging the NGT for the good work that it is doing, and not place obstacles in their way.
According to the Bench, the NGT was only confirming the notion that Constitutional Courts have been asserting all these years regarding pollution.
The Petitioner, Advocate Vishaal Shripati Jogdand had questioned the jurisdiction of the Tribunal to pass such an order. He asserted that the NGT had no jurisdiction under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988; the National Green Tribunal, 2010; the Air Pollution Act, 1981; or the Environment Protection Act, 1986 to pass any such orders. Advocate Debasis Misra, representing the petitioner, submitted that fitness of vehicles and not their age should be the criteria.
It was also contended that only the Central Government had the power to ban old vehicles on the recommendation of the Pollution Control Board. He also relied on the fact that even though the Court had introduced CNG vehicles in Delhi in 1997-98, air pollution had not gone down.
Dismissing the Petition, the Court observed, “We remember the Andhra Pradesh High Court had passed such an order and the matter came to us in Special Leave to appeal. We dismissed the appeal and upheld the ban. So nothing appears to be wrong with what the Tribunal is doing today. It is only repeating orders passed by the constitutional courts.”
In November last year, National Green tribunal had banned vehicles over 15 years old from plying on Delhi roads.
“All vehicles, diesel or petrol, which are more than 15 years old shall not be permitted to ply on the roads…This direction would be applicable to all vehicles without exception i.e. Two wheelers, three wheelers, four wheelers, light vehicles and heavy vehicles irrespective of whether commercial or otherwise,” the bench said. Read the LiveLaw story and order here.
In April this year, a five Judge bench of the National Green Tribunal then banned all diesel vehicles over 10 years old. The Bench, headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar, directed that all the vehicles entering Delhi will be checked for pollution, weight and age from Wednesday. Local commissioners appointed by the tribunal will conduct surprise checks. The ban applies to both, private and commercial vehicles. Read the LiveLaw story and order here.