SC lifts ban on registration of 2000cc & above diesel vehicles in Delhi-NCR

SC lifts ban on registration of 2000cc & above diesel vehicles in Delhi-NCR

SC lifts ban on registration of 2000cc & above diesel vehicles in Delhi-NCR
Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and other makers of high-end cars and SUVs got a major relief from the Supreme Court which lifted its order banning registration of luxurious vehicles having engine capacity of 2000cc and above in Delhi and NCR on payment of 1% of the ex-showroom price of such automobiles as green cess.

The apex court vacated the embargo on registration of such vehicles after taking on record the affidavits of Mercedes, Toyota and its dealers as well as that of Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) offering to deposit 1% of the price of the vehicles as Environment Protection Charge (EPC) before the registration.

While modifying its December 16, 2015 order banning registration of such vehicles in the national capital which was extended to National Capital Region (NCR) by its March 31, 2016, order a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said the 1% amount, charged as EPC, shall be paid to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) which will open a separate account with a scheduled public sector bank.

The apex court said that the registration of the vehicle would be done by the Regional Transport Officer on the satisfaction that 1% of the cost of the vehicle has been deposited with CPCB by the vehicle manufacturers/dealers/ sub-dealers. However, it left open for adjudication the Centre’s opposition that such a charge cannot be levied by the court.

The bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi, said it will decide later whether green cess can be levied on diesel vehicles of below 2000cc engine capacity. As the hearing was concluding, the bench orally clarified that any enhancement or reduction of green cess would not have a retrospective effect.

While making it clear that the order was modified only to the extent that registration of such vehicles would be done on the deposit of the one per cent of the amount of the cost of the vehicle towards environment protection cess, the bench said, “Let the things start moving.”

It also said that the sword should not be hanging over the companies that today the environment cess is one per cent and tomorrow it may be 10%. Mercedes-Benz through senior advocate Mohan Parasaran and Gopal Subramanian, had made the offer of one per cent as environment compensation charge which was also backed by Toyota through its counsel Gopal Jain and Vijay Sondhi. They were joined by SIAM through senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

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