In a major relief to auto makers and buyers planning to buy diesel SUVs and cars with engine capacity of more than 2000cc, the Supreme Court has said it is considering lifting the ban on sale of these vehicles in the national capital region on payment of a green cess.
As per ‘The Times of India’ report, observation of bench of CJ T S Thakur and Justices AK Sikri and R Banumathi came after two automakers, Mercedes and Toyota -through senior advocates Gopal Subramaniam and Gopal Jain, offered to submit 1 percent of the ex-showroom cost of big diesel vehicles as cess in lieu of consent to recommence sales, stalled on court orders since January 1 as part of steps to control air pollution in the capital.
Apex court said buyers of big diesel cars must understand these were more polluting vehicles.
SC is planning to allow car manufacturers to recommence sale of these big diesel cars subject to some green cess as these are more polluting than the petrol variants. Buyers who buys these big diesel cars must know that he is buying a polluting vehicle and that is the reason he is paying more, CJI Thakur said.
Jain told the apex court that Toyota was ready to submit per cent of ex-showroom cost of these big diesel cars on voluntary basis.
Car manufacturers would come out with a concrete proposal on calculating the green cess to be imposed on these big diesel cars, he said
Bench agreed and posted the matter for further hearing on July 4.
But, it also raised another important issue on reports about cars from reputed manufacturers manipulating emissions to deceive the standards in Europe.
The bench asked whether there was any emission standard for vehicle manufacturers in India.
“Who enforces it on vehicles when they are manufactured? If you are failing in Europe, what is the guarantee that you are not failing in India? Is there any authority which has tested the cars for emission norm compliance prior to permitting their sales in India," the paper quoted bench as asking.
It asked car manufacturers to deliver a roadmap for imposing green cess on big diesel vehicles and wanted to know from the government the testing mechanism for pollution standard compliance prior to allowing manufacturers to sell their cars.
Both advocates said the manufacturers carefully met the emission standards and were ready to place the records before the court.