The Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to vacate its ban on the plying of e-rickshaws in the Capital until the government came up with guidelines to regulate them.
A division bench of Justice BD Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul said it “will not allow any illegal acts” and “these vehicles cannot be allowed to run without regulation”.
“Our concern is very clear and we cannot allow these e-rickshaws to run without any regulations. We don’t want any chaos, we want law and order,” the bench remarked. The court was hearing a review petition filed by the Battery Rickshaw Welfare Association against the ban of plying of e-rickshaws in the city.
Appearing for the Centre and Delhi government, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Pinky Anand appealed the court to vacate the stay as the well being of around 50,000 individuals depended on e-rickshaws.
She suggested that the e-rickshaw owners may be allowed to ply their vehicles under the supervision of Delhi Police and civic bodies.
The court, however, turned down the suggestion.
Anand told the court that the Centre will frame the draft guidelines on the issue and till the time the guidelines are replaced by statutory amendments, e-rickshaws can be allowed to ply.
The bench, however, said it needed a proper policy to vacate its ban as it cannot allow people to die on roads because of unregulated operations of the e-rickshaws.
“We are not happy that people are losing their livelihood but people are dying too. We cannot allow this in the capital of the country. Law and order must prevail,” said the bench.
“This is not about one incident. There is a disregard for law,” the court said, observing that the e-rickshaws drivers are not following any rules due to which people are losing their lives.
The order of ban had came on July 31 while hearing a public interest litigation seeking a ban on e-rickshaws because they had no registration numbers and the vehicles were putting passengers at risk.
The PIL said e-rickshaws operated with four batteries and were designed to ferry four people, including the driver. However, the drivers, at times, carried upto eight passengers, endangering their lives, it added.