No re-registration of old petrol, diesel vehicles even if they pass emission norms: HC

April 03, 2022 08:09 pm | Updated 08:09 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The Delhi High Court has refused to allow the renewal of the registration of petrol cars older than 15 years and diesel cars older than 15 years, even if the fitness and pollution emission norms are within the Automotive Industry Standards. 

However, the court allowed the owners of vehicles whose registration has expired to apply for a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Transport Department of Delhi to sell their cars in other states that permit plying of such vehicles.

The order, which was delivered by the High Court on March 25, came while rejecting the plea of a 72-year-old man who sought an extension of the registration of his 16-year-old petrol car on the ground that it was in perfect condition.

Pentapati Pulla Rao, in his petition, argued that being a senior citizen he uses his car to visit hospitals, purchase medicines etc. within a radius of 5 to 10 km radius from his residence in Nizamuddin. But due to the registration of his vehicle being blocked, as it was over 15 years, he could not use the car, Mr. Rao said, adding that being a senior citizen he could not get a loan to buy a new car.

“Though the vehicle has completed 15 years, it has travelled only 20,000 km and is maintained in a very good fitness/running condition with low emission standards,” Mr. Rao said in his plea. He stated that due to the blanket ban on plying of old cars in Delhi “panic selling” of cars was taking place.

Mr. Rao said that the second-hand car traders were approaching him to sell his car for Rs. 25,000 to 30,000 which was not sufficient for him to buy a new car.

The context

In November 2014, the National Green Tribunal (NGT), concerned over the rising air pollution in Delhi primarily resulting from vehicular pollution, issued a blanket ban on re-registration of any vehicles that are over 15 years old.

The tribunal, in April 2015, refined its order and said, “Petrol vehicles which are more than 15 years old and diesel vehicles that are more than 10 years old shall not be registered in the NCR, Delhi”. This direction is applicable to all vehicles including two-wheelers, three wheelers, four-wheelers, light vehicles, and heavy vehicles. A similar order was reiterated by the Supreme Court in October 2018.

Later, in 2018, the Delhi government also issued a public notice saying that any such vehicles found plying on Delhi’s roads would be impounded.

Responding to Mr. Rao’s plea, the High Court said, “In terms of the policy of the Government of NCT of Delhi, NOC can always be obtained by the petitioner (Mr Ra0) for transfer of vehicle, subject to other norms, in areas which are permitted in terms of the order of the NGT as well as the Supreme Court”.

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