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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Plea before HC challenges odd-even, says it violates fundamental rights

cities Updated: Oct 22, 2019 21:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

New Delhi: A plea was filed Tuesday before the Delhi high court, challenging the odd-even road rationing scheme of the Delhi government, scheduled to take place from November 4-15, stating that it was a “blatant violation” of the fundamental rights of the citizens.

The plea filed by advocate Shashwat Bhardwaj also sought directions to the city government to set up a committee that may, apart from senior bureaucrats, also comprise members of the Bar, to conduct a study on the viability of the scheme.

He sought that the committee comes up with alternative arrangements that do not violate fundamental rights and also fill the void left by the scheme.

The matter came up for hearing before a bench of chief justice DN Patel and justice C Hari Shankar, who sought the notification by way of which the Delhi government had implemented the scheme. However, since the petitioner did not have it with him, the court adjourned the matter to November 1.

The public interest litigation (PIL) plea stated that the scheme was implemented by the government to gain political mileage.

It said as per the scheme, all vehicles driven by a lone woman, a woman ferrying female passengers or children below the age of 12 will be exempted from the road rationing scheme. That, the plea said, is a blatant violation of the right to equality.

It said the state government is imposing the scheme on residents of Delhi, thereby denying them the right to equality before law on the grounds of sex and, therefore, the scheme warrants it to be struck down.

“Furthermore, the rationale given by the respondent (Delhi government) for exempting women is vague apart from being mischievous and misconceived. It is apparent that the said odd-even scheme is being enforced only to gain a political mileage and no legal opinion was, perhaps, sought even from the law department of the government before formulating the scheme,” the plea said.

The petition said a representation was also sent to the Delhi chief secretary; however, no action was taken on it. It said the last two times the scheme was implemented, CNG vehicles had been exempted. However, this time, even CNG vehicles are covered by the scheme.