India

Non polluting vehicles can transport minister nitin gadkari come explain proposal asks top court

Non polluting vehicles can transport minister nitin gadkari come explain proposal asks top court
Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari

HEARING A plea seeking effective implementation of the Centre’s Electric Vehicle (EV) policy, the Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed desire to interact with Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on the issue.

A bench of Chief Justice of India S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant, however, did not seek his presence after Additional Solicitor General Atmaram Nadkarni said it might be misused politically.

“Can the minister come to Supreme Court and tell about the proposal to introduce non-polluting vehicles using alternative fuels,” CJI Bobde asked Nadkarni when PIL filed by the NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigations came up before the bench.

The A-G replied that although there was nothing wrong in it, it may be used politically.

The court said Gadkari had been talking on the subject of using alternative fuels to check pollution and clarified that it was only inviting, and not summoning.

Appearing for the petitioner, Advocate Prashant Bhushan said the government had promised 7 million vehicles by 2020 under its EV policy, but in reality there are not even a quarter-million EVs now. There was also a plan for a small levy on petrol and diesel vehicles, which in turn was to be used for subsidising EVs, he said.

Nadkarni pointed out that the idea of levy was that of the Niti Aayog, but this had been red-flagged by the Finance Ministry.