The Bombay high court on Monday asked Union ministry of road transport and highways to inform on June 20 what progress has been made in the probe made by a committee into the recall of Chevrolet Tavera cars by General Motors in 2013.
The direction was given by a bench of justices Abhay Oka and Amjad Sayed on a PIL filed by activist Ketan Tirodkar seeking a CBI probe into the recall of Chevrolet Tavera cars by the company.
The petitioner on Monday placed a letter written by the Union transport ministry to the public prosecutor in response to a direction given by the high court to the Centre to file a reply to the PIL.
The letter said that a committee had been formed to monitor the progress of recall of Tavera BS-III and Tavera BS-IV models. The additional secretary, department of heavy industry, was the chairperson while joint secretary, transport ministry, was a member of the committee.
The letter further stated that the General Motors had recalled 39,105 vehicles as on August 11, 2014. Since the action in the matter as per law was in progress, there was no need for a CBI probe, it said.
The PIL alleged that a government panel’s report had indicted the company for substandard engines in Chevrolet Tavera BS3 (2.5L variant) and BS4 (2.0L variant).
According to the PIL, in July 2013 GM recalled 1.14 lakh units of its multi-purpose vehicle to address emission and specification issues.
The ministry had earlier told the high court in a letter that Gujarat government had formed a special investigation team to probe the allegations as General Motors has a plant in the state, while Maharashtra government had refused to take action saying Tavera is not produced in the state.
The PIL alleged that though the government panel had indicted the company, no case was filed against General Motors because the panel was not vested with express jurisdiction to register an FIR.
CBI had filed an affidavit earlier saying it would not be able to take up the case as it is overburdened and also because the case does not have inter-state ramifications as the company has a plant only in Gujarat.
Moreover, the alleged fraud did not cause any loss to the central government necessitating a CBI probe, the central agency said.
CBI affidavit also said that “the alleged offence would not attract cheating clause as attributed by the petitioner but can be treated only as an offence civil in nature”. The petitioner can also file a case under Consumer Protection Act, the CBI affidavit added.