Mercedes asks SC to lift diesel ban, says ready to pay environment cess

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 09, 2016 00:59 IST
File photo of Roland S Folger, managing Director & CEO Mercedes-Benz India. The German car maker has moved the Indian Supreme Court seeking lifting on diesel ban (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo )

German car-maker Mercedes on Monday told the Supreme Court that it is ready to impose 1% environment cess on its buyers, a move that aimed at getting rid of the ban on registration of diesel cars with engines of over 2,000cc in Delhi-NCR.

Senior advocate Mohan Parasaran mentioned the company’s application before a bench, headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur, which agreed to hear it on August 12. Parasaran insisted for a hearing despite the bench telling him it has reserved its verdict on the issue.

Explaining the need for an urgent hearing, Parasaran told HT that in the absence of an order, high courts and state benches of the National Green Tribunal have started banning the sale of such cars. Referring to such an order in Kerala, he told HT, “... the Kerala NGT bench has put a ban on the sale of such cars. Some high courts are also following suit. Either the top court restrains them or gives an order soon because the prohibition (on registration) will shut down the (car) industry here.”

Mercedes’ submission is also seen as an attempt to counter the recommendation of the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, which has proposed a green tax of 20-22% of the ex-showroom price of diesel vehicles.

The Supreme Court had in December last year banned the sale of diesel vehicles with an engine capacity of 2,000cc or more in Delhi — which is said to have the worst air quality among major capitals in the world — and its adjoining areas.

The ban was to remain in place for three months but was extended indefinitely.

Major car manufacturers and the Centre had sought relaxation from the Supreme Court, which on July 4 reserved its order, indicating that such vehicles may be allowed to be registered again on payment of 1% of the ex-showroom price as environmental cess.

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