The Delhi government had recently initiated the move to prosecute autorickshaw owners or drivers under Rule 71(2) of Delhi Motor Vehicles Rules for displaying advertisements on their vehicles.
Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the drivers, told the court that the government action was discriminatory and was also targeted at the Aam Aadmi Party whose posters were put up by thousands of auto drivers.
The auto drivers said, “the said rule is ultra vires the enabling act which empowers the respondent (govt) to frame rules to regulate (not even ‘restrict’) but not to prohibit the advertisements on autorickshaws”.
According to the plea, the respondent has arbitrarily announced that no advertisement can be displayed on public service vehicles such as autorickshaws, taxis, buses, etc., without permission from the state transport authority.
“It warned that the government would launch a special drive from June 15, 2013, to prosecute those who display advertisements on their vehicles.”