The Volkswagen Group challenged the NGT’s fine in the Supreme Court, contending that all its cars are "compliant with emission norms in India.
The Volkswagen Group challenged the NGT’s fine in the Supreme Court, contending that all its cars are "compliant with emission norms in India.

SC asks NGT to consider widening scope of scrutiny into compliance with emission norms by all car manufacturers

ANI | Updated: Jan 21, 2019 20:34 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 21 (ANI) The Supreme Court on Monday asked the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to consider whether to widen the scope of scrutiny into compliance of all car manufacturers with the emission norms, as German auto major Volkswagen has challenged a punitive action of the tribunal.
A bench, headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud, said that there was no occasion to take punitive action against the directors of Volkswagen for the delay in depositing of Rs 100 crore fine to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), as it had already extended the deadline. 
The NGT had on January 17 imposed a penalty of Rs 100 crore on Volkswagen, saying its cars were violating the pollution norms.
A four-member committee constituted by the NGT had recommended a fine of Rs 171.34 crore on Volkswagen for excess nitrogen oxide emissions. The committee in its report had estimated that Volkswagen cars allegedly released 48.678 tonnes of NO in 2016 in the National Capital Region.
The Volkswagen Group challenged the NGT’s fine, contending that all its cars are "compliant with emission norms in India."
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Volkswagen, told the apex court bench that the company had deposited the amount of Rs 100 crore on January 17 as directed by the NGT. The tribunal had said that non-compliance can lead to the arrest of the company's India head.
“We would like to clarify that intent and purpose of this court in December extending time for compliance was to ensure that until this court took up the matter on next date, the coercive measure cannot be taken for non-compliance of the order,” said the Supreme Court bench.
It asked the NGT to include Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in a four-member committee appointed by the expert panel.
The NGT had constituted a joint team of representatives of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the Ministry of Heavy Industries, the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) and the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute.
The tribunal had asked for a report on whether Volkswagen has exceeded the prescribed environmental norms and fair estimate of the damage caused to the environment.
The Supreme Court also noted that the committee had submitted its report and proceedings are now pending before the NGT. The bench said it is now proper for the tribunal to deal with the report on merits.
The tribunal’s order had come on pleas filed by a school teacher, Saloni Ailawadi, and a few others seeking a ban on the sale of Volkswagen vehicles for alleged violation of emission norms. (ANI)

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