Earlier this week it was reported that the Chandigarh administration has banned the registration of all petrol-powered two-wheelers. Now in further advancement on this topic, it has been reported that a notice from the Punjab and Haryana high court has been issued against the Chandigarh administration. The notice was issued following a plea against the state’s administration by the Federation of Automobile Dealers Association of India, which is representing the automobile dealers in Chandigarh.
The Federation of Automobile Dealers Association of India in their plea has challenged the Union Territory’s Electric Vehicle Policy that was issued back in September of 2022. The federation has also challenged the RLA (Registering and Licensing Authority), Chandigarh, which is responsible for setting the mandatory limits and capping the sale and registration of non-electric vehicles.
According to the petitioner, the plea has been made against the authorities because they believe that the rules set for the sale and registration of internal combustion engine vehicles were arbitrary and unlawful and their rules entirely disregard the Government of India’s plans for the orderly transition to cleaner energy sources in the transportation sector. Following this, the case was heard on Thursday before the division bench of Chief Justice Ravi Shanker Jha and Justice Arun Palli, who issued the notice but declined to provide the petitioner any temporary relief.
Anil Mehta, Senior Standing Counsel, and Sumeet Jain, Additional Standing Counsel, accepting the notice on behalf of the Chandigarh administration, contested the petition’s maintainability, arguing that the petitioners lacked standing to file it because they were dealers and that there would be no harm done to them if vehicles were not registered. The attorneys also argued that private or commercial interests cannot trump public interests. The attorneys added that the Chandigarh government had invited the dealers who had submitted the case to a joint meeting on the subject on May 13, 2022, which resulted to the policy’s finalization.
The Counsel members representing the state administration replied to the notice by stating, “The Electric Vehicle Policy of 2022 has been implemented in Chandigarh by keeping into consideration the climate change, which has become a global concern. The road transport sector plays a major role in the rapid increase in global temperature, which is a cause of great concern. The Central government has also urged to the States and UTs to adopt a well defined Electric Vehicle Policy. Therefore, Chandigarh Administration has approved the Electric Vehicle Policy, 2022 framed to build Chandigarh as a Model Electric Vehicle City by achieving one of the highest penetration of Zero Emission Vehicle amongst all Indian cities by the end of the policy period,”
For those unware, the Chandigarh administration made a huge announcement just a week ago, that the office of the Registration & Licensing Authority, UT, Chandigarh will no longer accept any applications for the registration of non-electric two-wheelers as of January 1, 2024. Also, the administration will suspend accepting registrations for non-EV two-wheelers for the fiscal year 2023 starting February 10th. This move according to the official statement of the government has been done in order to fulfil the goal of eco-friendly and green transportation in Chandigarh.