The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday gave its nod to the sale of Super Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and other diesel cars with engine capacity of 2,000cc or above in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR). The SC allowed the sale of the diesel cars on a term that their manufacturers would pay 1% ex-showroom cost as environment levy prior to the registration of the vehicle.
The move comes following the grave concerns raised by the environmentalists worldwide over the rise in pollution in Delhi and the NCR. In its ruling on Friday, the apex court also directed officials of the Central Pollution Control Board to open accounts in public sector banks in which the amount charged as green levy from big diesel car and SUV makers could be deposited.
It further made clear that the regional transport authority would register a diesel car or SUV with engine capacity of 2000cc or more only if the person applying for it provides a receipt of payment of green levy. The ruling also indicates the possibilities of the rate of green levy on big diesel cars be revised in the coming times and increased from more than 1% of ex-showroom cost of the vehicle.
The decision to bring the smaller diesel cars under the purview of payment of environment protection charge could also be likely taken by the SC judges later on, media reports said. Friday’s ruling by the SC bench came while hearing the plea submitted by car maker Mercedes-Benz.
In its plea, the German luxury car maker has offered to pay 1% environment cess in order to overcome the ban on registration of vehicles with engine capacity of 2000 cc or more in Delhi and NCR.
During the previous hearing of the issue on July 4, the apex court had reserved its verdict on pleas seeking modification of its banning order on diesel-run SUVs and high-end cars with the above mentioned engine capacity in the capital and adjoining areas. The SC judges had clearly indicated that the big diesel cars could be allowed to be registered again only on payment of 1% of ex-showroom price of the vehicle as green cess.