The traffic police has informed the Delhi High Court that it had impounded over 6,600 e-rickshaws that have been plying despite the court’s ban.
In an affidavit filed before Justice V.K. Shali, the traffic police said that to follow a July 31 court order that banned the plying of battery-operated e-rickshaws, a special drive was started in the nation capital.
“In pursuance to the directions of the court dated July 31, up to Nov 25, the Delhi Police have impounded a total of 6,602 e-rickshaws for plying on the roads of capital in violation of the directions of the court’s order,” said the affidavit.
“The Delhi traffic police is meticulously implementing the directions of the court in true letter and spirit and there shall not be any laxity in this respect in enforcing the direction of the court,” it added.
The affidavit also stated that the instructions for impounding the e-rickshaws were also circulated to Deputy Commissioner of Police (Headquarter) Traffic, for strict compliance by all traffic personnel deployed on field duties.
The police also said that prior to the passing of the ban order, from April to July, 114 cases have been registered against e-rickshaw drivers for rash driving.
“Delhi traffic police personnel are deployed for traffic regulation on the arterial roads. They have also been directed to prevent movement of e-rickshaws on the internal roads where drivers/operators of e-rickshaws attempt to ply on the sly,” said the affidavit filed through advocate Zubeda Begum.
The traffic police response came on a contempt petition filed against the city police and transport department for not taking action against plying of e-rickshaws in the capital despite a ban.
The court had issued a show cause notice asking the two departments to explain why contempt proceedings not be initiated against them for not following the court’s order.
The court had banned plying of e-rickshaws on the city roads, saying they were running “illegally and were hazardous to other traffic as well as citizens”.
After the court Sep 9 confirmed the ban on plying of e-rickshaws till the law is amended to bring them under the ambit of the Motor Vehicles Act and turned down the central government’s request to let e-rickshaws ply till they are made lawful by parliament, it issued a notification last month on permitting them.
A bill to allow battery-operated e-rickshaws will be introduced in the current session of parliament, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has said.