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Delhi HC slams city govt against ‘illegal’ plying of e-rickshaws

Delhi High Court today slammed the city government for not taking action against “illegal” plying of e-rickshaws on city roads and “passing the buck” on the issue while directing the Chief Secretary to disclose under what circumstances they were allowed to operate.

A bench headed by Justice Pradeep Nandrajog issued the direction after going through Delhi government’s reply that though e-rickshaws are operating illegally, the government is “not competent” to stop them as it will entail amendment to the Motor Vehicles Act.

The government has also submitted that the Transport Department had in 2012 and 2013 directed the manufacturers, dealers and suppliers of e-rickshaws to stop selling them despite which the vehicles were plying on Delhi roads.

The government in its reply has also said that the Chief Secretary had in 2013 brought to the attention of the Delhi Police Commissioner that operation of e-rickshaws are unauthorised, illegal and dangerous and had requested immediate action.

The Chief Secretary had in April 2014 asked the Delhi Traffic Police to prosecute the manufacturers, dealers and suppliers still selling e-rickshaws by registering FIR against them, the reply said.

The bench, however, termed the reply as “perfunctory” and directed the Chief Secretary to also disclose in his affidavit why no action has been taken to prohibit e-rickshaws from plying on Delhi roads.

“We have perused the reply and find it to be perfunctory. We direct the Chief Secretary of Delhi to file an affidavit disclosing under what circumstances e-rickshaws were allowed to ply on Delhi roads.

“If the Chief Secretary agrees with reply of respondent 2 (Delhi government), then he shall disclose why no action was taken to prohibit import of e-rickshaws and why no action was taken to stop them from plying in Delhi,” the court said.

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