Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India

SC says want to hear Nitin Gadkari on Centre's electric vehicle policy to curb pollution

ANI | Updated: Feb 19, 2020 17:48 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 19 (ANI): Chief Justice SA Bobde on Wednesday said that it would like to hear Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on the Centre's policy of switching all public transport and government vehicles to electric vehicles over a period of time in order to curb air pollution.
Additional Solicitor General ANS Nadkarni, appearing for Centre, objected to the presence of Minister in the court, saying, him coming to the Supreme Court will be misused politically.
The Chief Justice clarified that the invitation to the Union Minister is not a summon and sought response from the Ministry on the plea.
A Bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde, was hearing a plea of Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) seeking implementation of Centre's policy to gradually convert all public transport and government vehicles to electric vehicles.
The bench sought the government's response on steps being taken to implement its 2012 electric vehicles policy.
The court, while expressing its keenness to interact with Gadkari on implementation of electric vehicles scheme, said, "He (the minister) has made many statements on the issue. We are not indicting or ordering him. But want to hear him".
Passing the order, the bench said the issue of vehicles is related to a number of other pollution-related cases pending before the apex court and if the policy is implemented it can solve many pollution related problems.
"We find that the issue of the use of electric vehicles is connected to several other issues which are pending before the court. All of these issues which pertain to the source of the power of vehicles, public and private, eventually have a great impact on the environment. Not only the Delhi-NCR region but the whole country." the order said.
"We consider it appropriate that all the issues are considered simultaneously and with the assistance of authority empowered to take decisions," it added.
The court granted Transport Ministry four weeks to file response on the plea of CPIL.
"What's the real plan? Somebody has to be responsible...," Chief Justice Bobde said.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan appearing for CPIL contended that for electric vehicles there is a requirement of you charging infrastructure or charging ports to charge the battery.
The charging ports are required to be set up at various locations in Delhi including shopping malls as to fully charge the battery of a vehicle as it takes two hours, Bhushan added.
The CPIL has sought a direction to update the implementation of 2012 policy which mandated charging stations in all public buildings and use of electric vehicles by all government departments and in public transport. (ANI)