Notices issued on contempt plea of e-rickshaws plying on roads

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued show-cause notices on a contempt petition alleging that e-rickshaws were plying in large numbers in the Capital in violation of the Court orders. The Court had last month directed government authorities to allow e-rickshaws on roads only after making legislative changes to regulate their operations.

Issuing the notices, the Court asked Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Anil Shukla and Delhi Government’s Transport Commissioner Satish Mathur why the contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them. The respondents were asked to file their replies within four weeks and the matter was posted for hearing on December 18.

The Court had on September 9 directed that battery-operated rickshaws be allowed to ply only after their registration, release of permits, insurance coverage and issuance of driving licences to the persons operating them. Until these measures were taken, the ban on their plying was to continue as they were declared illegal under the existing laws.

Justice V.K. Shali of the High Court, who issued contempt notices on Tuesday, expressed surprise that e-rickshaws were plying “with impunity” all over Delhi despite the prohibition. The Judge said the photographs submitted by petitioner Shahnawaz Khan had shown that e-rickshaws were plying on different dates earlier and even now, while the police did not take any action.

Lawyer Zubeda Begum, appearing for respondents, who also included Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi, said the Transport Ministry had issued a draft notification laying down rules for plying of e-rickshaws on October 8 and invited objections to it. The Court was informed that the final notification would be shortly issued.

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