An advertisement by the transport department giving time till September for e-rickshaws to obtain commercial licences to run as three-wheeled scooter rickshaws was brought to the notice of the high court on Wednesday.
The court had banned e-rickshaws from plying in the city in the absence of any regulation.
“If they (e-rickshaws) can ply in the meantime, then why are we here? Implement the advertisement,” a bench of Justice BD Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul remarked after reading the advertisement.
The bench enquired if the advertisement was being implemented, and asked the Centre and Delhi government to come with its response by Thursday.
According to the advertisement published on March 6, a certificate from state transport department would be required for the sale of battery-operated rickshaws. Any violations of these norms would lead to action being taken under the Motor Vehicles Act, the advertisement said.
During the hearing, additional solicitor general (ASG) Pinky Anand asked the HC to consider relaxing the ban, saying it had initiated various temporary measures to regulate the plying of e-rickshaws till proper rules were framed.
Anand said the civic agencies would notify the roads where e-rickshaws cannot ply such as high-speed roads. She said the Delhi police would ensure they don’t carry more than four passengers, while the state transport department will issue the mandatory licences.
The HC, however, did not pass any order during the day’s hearing and posted the matter for further hearing on Thursday.
At the outset, advocate Sugrive Dubey, appearing for Shanawaz Khan on whose plea e-rickshaws were banned, informed the HC that many such vehicles were operating here despite court order.
Dubey also submitted photographs as proof to his allegation.
The Battery Rickshaw Welfare Association, represented by advocate RK Kapoor, retaliated by alleging Shanawaz of owning several cycle-rickshaws and filing the petition in personal interest.