'No e-rickshaws without policy'

HC will not remove ban unless Centre frames clear-cut guidelines

The ban on e-rickshaws in the city will continue as the Delhi High Court on Tuesday made it clear that it can not allow them to ply unless there are guidelines to regulate them and asked the Centre to come up with draft regulations on the issue.

“Our concern is very very clear and we can not allow these e-rickshaws without any regulations,” a bench of Justice B D Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul said.

Additional Solicitor General Pinki Anand, appearing for the Centre and the Delhi Government, said the issue relates to the livelihood of around 50,000 e-rickshaw owners and they be allowed to ply them under the supervision of Delhi Police and civic agencies.

‘Won’t allow illegal acts’

“We will not allow any illegal acts. You show us under which guidelines or norms the police will regulate them. Have a proper policy then only we can allow it as the rule of law should must prevail,” the bench said.

“We are also not happy but we should not allow chaos in the capital of the country, which should be a role model city for all of us,” it said.

The ASG then informed the court that the Centre will frame draft guidelines on the issue and e-rickshaws can be allowed to ply for the time being till the guidelines are replaced by statutory amendments.

The court then fixed the matter on August 8 for hearing review petition of Battery Rickshaw Welfare Association.

The court had on Monday agreed to hear the petition seeking review of its order banning e-rickshaws on the roads in the national capital.

Advocate R K Kapoor, who had appeared for the association, had sought an urgent hearing of the matter saying an advisory has been issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to the chief secretaries of all the state governments and Union territories regarding regulation of electric motor propelled three-wheeled vehicles (e-rickshaws and e-carts).

He had contended that this advisory has not been brought to the attention of the court.

The High Court on July 31 had ordered a ban on plying of e-rickshaws in the national capital, saying they are illegally running on Delhi roads and “prima facie a hazard to other traffic as well citizens”.

The review petition also contended that lakhs of families depend upon e-rickshaws for their livelihood “and in the interest of justice, this court may review or modify the order dated July 31”.

The petition also sought directions to the authorities to act upon the ministry’s advisory which “specifically provides that in order to give vehicles for last mile connectivity to commuters and livelihood to manually operated three-wheeled rickshaws and carts, it was decided to facilitate their replacement with electric motor powered three-wheeled rickshaws and carts”.

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