Legislation UpdatesNotifications

No. F. 23(1549)/CAP/TPT/PCD/2019/ 1579/78617.—Whereas the National Capital Territory in Delhi has more than eleven million registered vehicles and the vehicular pollution has become a major source of air pollution in Delhi;

Whereas, Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, Hon’ble High Court of Delhi and Hon’ble National Green Tribunal have passed various directions from time to time to take immediate action to control the alarming level of vehicular pollution in Delhi and all-out efforts are being made to give effect to the directions of the Hon’ble Courts.

Therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 115 read with clause (41) of Section 2 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, (59 of 1988), the Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, on being satisfied that further steps are required to control vehicular pollution caused by non-transport four-wheeled vehicles (motor cars etc.), hereby orders in the interest of public safety, that the following prohibitory/restrictive measures shall be in force in the area of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, namely :—

(i) The plying of non-transport four-wheeled vehicles (Motor Cars etc.) having registration number ending with odd digit (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) shall be prohibited on 4th, 6th, 8th, 12th and 14th November, 2019 and plying of the non-transport four-wheeled Vehicles having registration number ending with even digit (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) shall be prohibited on 05th, 07th, 09th, 11th , 13th and 15th November, 2019.

(ii)  These restrictions shall also apply to the non-transport four-wheeled vehicles bearing registration number of other states.

(iii)  These restrictions shall be applicable from 8 AM to 8 PM of such dates.

(iv)  These restrictions shall not be applicable on Sunday.

(v)  These restrictions shall not apply to the vehicles of such categories as mentioned in the Schedule annexed to this notification.

(vi)  Violation of this notification shall attract fine in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (1) of section 194 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

Further, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 200 and under sub-section (1) of section 213 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988), read with rule 123 of the Delhi Motors Vehicles Rules, 1993, the Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi is pleased to authorize the following officers to compound the aforementioned offence with the amount of Rs. 4,000/-, namely:—

(a)  Officers of the rank of Head Constable and above of Delhi Police.

(b) Officers of the rank of Head Constable and above of the Transport Department, Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

(c)  All Sub Divisional Magistrates and Tehsildars of the Revenue Department, Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

(d)  Assistant Traffic Inspector (ATI) and above of the Delhi Transport Corporation.

The aforementioned officers at point (c) and (d) above, are also authorised to exercise the powers under clause (e) of sub-section 5 of section 213 of the said Act, to launch prosecution under section 194 of the said Act, 1988 for the offences committed in violation of this notification and they will be deemed to be officers of Transport Department, GNCTD under sub-section (1) of section 213 of the said Act, read with rule 123 of the Delhi Motor Vehicles Rules, 1993 for these purposes.

The amount compounded by the authorised officers/authorities shall be deposited in the “Major Head 0041, taxes on vehicles, 101-MV (Fee & Fine)”, of the Transport Department, Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

The above notification shall come into force with effect from 4th November, 2019 and will remain in force till 15th November, 2019.

*Please read the detailed notification here: NOTIFICATION


Transport Department

[Notification dt. 01-11-2019]

Case BriefsForeign Courts

Federal Administrative Court of Germany: Germany’s highest administrative court in Leipzig ruled in favour of upholding bans that were introduced by lower courts in the cities of Stuttgart and Düsseldorf, two of the most polluted German cities, after appeals were lodged by the states of Baden-Württemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia. Millions of heavily polluting vehicles could eventually disappear from roads across Germany after this landmark ruling. The ruling clearly states that cities have the right to ban diesel motors in an effort to improve deadly air quality levels. This, significant ruling could cause traffic chaos and dramatically hit the value of diesel vehicles.

The case was originally brought by the environmental groups Deutsche Umwelthilfe (German environmental aid or DUH) and ClientEarth, which now paves the way for cities across Germany to follow suit. The Court said it would be up to “the city” and municipal authorities to apply the bans, but advised them to “exercise proportionality” in enforcing them, and to impose them gradually, granting exemptions for certain vehicles [such as ambulances, rubbish collection lorries and police cars]. The historic decision is an incredible result for people’s health, and could have an impact in foreign courts. This long waited ruling gives legal clarity, that diesel restrictions are legally permissible and will necessarily trigger a domino effect across the country.

The Court also placed reliance on the experts, who estimated that excessive amounts of nitrogen oxides or NOx in the air kill between 6,000 and 13,000 people in Germany every year, causing a range of health conditions, from strokes to asthma. Eager to reassure anxious car owners, the government insisted nothing would change immediately and stressed that bans were not inevitable. The Court has not issued any driving bans but created clarity about the law. Precisely how many vehicles might be potentially affected by the ban remains unclear until further details. Of the 15 million diesel cars registered in Germany, around 6 million are of a “Euro 6” emissions standard that would probably escape a ban. Industry representatives have expressed their concern that they in particular might be disadvantaged in carrying out their daily business, and have called for special exemptions to avoid potentially devastating effects on the economy.

[Source: The Guardian]

Photo Courtesy: Simon, A PHOTO TOUR OF PRETTY LEIPZIG, https://wild-about-travel.com/photo-tour-pretty-leipzig/

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Explaining the reasons for the order dated 29.03.2017, where it was directed that on and from 1st April, 2017 such vehicles that are not BS-IV compliant shall not be sold or registered in India by any manufacturer or dealer, the Court said that considering the life of such vehicles ranges from 10 to 15 years, the concern is not only for the present population of the country but for future generations who also have an entitlement to breathe pollution free air. This is what sustainable development and inter-generational equity is all about.

Rejecting the argument that every Notification issued by the Government in relation to prohibition of sale of any vehicle not complying with BS-IV Emission norms over the course of years should be interpreted literally, the Court said that if the entire scheme laid out by the Government – of discouraging the manufacture of polluting vehicles and gradually phasing them out coupled with their gradual replacement with fuel efficient vehicles, availability of cleaner and greener fuel and compliance with fuel emission norms is appreciated in a much larger context rather than on a notification by notification basis – the objective behind the scheme would be apparent. The Court said that the Government could very well have issued one single notification way back in 2010 that with effect from 1st April, 2017 but it did not do so to enable all concerned, particularly the auto industry and marketing strategists to gradually manage their affairs rather than subject them to a sudden future shock. The scheme of a gradual phase-out is now sought to be perverted through a literal interpretation of each notification, unfortunately, for a commercial benefit rather than being appreciated in a larger canvas for the benefit of society as a whole.

Lashing out at the interveners, the bench of Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta, JJ said that rather than admit responsibility for a lack of concern of public health issues, some of the interveners have sought to blame Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) for its failure to approach the Government of India to seek amendments to the notifications issued from time to time and to incorporate a prohibition on the sale and registration of BS-III compliant vehicles on or after 1st April, 2017. It was noticed that the EPCA had convened a meeting of all stakeholders on 19th October, 2016 and had brought to the notice of the representatives of SIAM that there would be no sale and registration of BS-III compliant vehicles from 1st April, 2017 and that this should be communicated to all manufacturers in order to give sufficient notice of almost six months to enable the automobile industry to plan its production and sale and take pro-active steps to significantly decrease the production of such vehicles. Therefore, to blame EPCA for their problems is rather unfair of the interveners.

The Court said that it is time to realize that a collective effort is needed to clear up the air. In this process, the interveners have a huge role and they should now wake up to their responsibility for the benefit of all. [M.C. Mehta v. Union of India, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 394, decided on 13.04.2017]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Stating that the sale and registration and therefore the commercial interests of manufacturers and dealers of such vehicles that do not meet the Bharat Stage-IV (BS-IV) emission standards as on 1st April, 2017 does not take primacy over the health hazard due to increased air pollution of millions of our country men and women, the Court directed that  on and from 1st April, 2017 such vehicles that are not BS-IV compliant shall not be sold or registered in India by any manufacturer or dealer, that is to say that such vehicles whether two wheeler, three wheeler, four wheeler or commercial vehicles will not be sold in India by any manufacturer or dealer on and from 1st April, 2017.

With regard to the sale and registration of the existing stock of such vehicles that comply with BS-III emission standards, the manufacturers contended that they are entitled to manufacture such vehicles till 31st March, 2017 and in so doing, they have not violated any prohibition or any law. Hence, the sale and registration of such vehicles on and from 1st April, 2017 ought not to be prohibited and that they may be given reasonable time to dispose of the existing stock of such vehicles. On the other hand, the learned Amicus contended that permitting such vehicles to be sold or registered on or after 1st April, 2017 would constitute a health hazard to millions of our country men and women by adding to the air pollution levels in the country, which are already quite alarming.

Accepting the contention of the Amicus, the bench of Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta, JJ said that the number of such vehicles may be small compared to the overall number of vehicles in the country but the health of the people is far, far more important than the commercial interests of the manufacturers or the loss that they are likely to suffer in respect of the so-called small number of such vehicles. The Court also said that the manufacturers of such vehicles were fully aware that eventually from 1st April, 2017 they would be required to manufacture only BS-IV compliant vehicles but for reasons that are not clear, they chose to sit back and declined to take sufficient pro-active steps. [M.C. Mehta v. Union of India, 2017 SCC OnLine SC 291, order dated 29.03.2017]