SC asks if environment minister can come to court for interaction on electric vehicles

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent, Sc Asks If Environment Minister Can Come To Court For Interaction On Electric Vehicles
Feb 19, 2020 05:05 PM IST

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde enquired from Additional Solicitor General A N S Nadkarni as to whether the minister can come over for an interaction to assist this court.

The Supreme Court has asked if the Union minister for environment Prakash Javadekar can appear in the court to apprise it of the government’s thoughts on the issue of a gradual replacement of existing government and public transport to electric vehicles, said a news agency.

E-Vehicle charger installed on the roadside at Connaught Place in New Delhi.(Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)
E-Vehicle charger installed on the roadside at Connaught Place in New Delhi.(Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)

The court’s suggestion came during a hearing on related matter on Wednesday.

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A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde asked Additional Solicitor General A N S Nadkarni if the minister, Prakash Javadekar, could appear before the court to assist in the matter.

“Can environment minister come to Supreme Court and explain proposal to introduce non-polluting vehicles run on electricity/hydrogen,” PTI quoted the bench asking the Central law officer.

Nadkarni said while there was nothing wrong in politicians appearing before the court, the minister’s appearance could be misused for political reasons.

The bench offered assurance that the minister was unlikely to be quizzed or questioned in the court.

“We understand that Mr Prashant Bhushan is a political person but he is not going to argue with the minister,” PTI quoted the bench as saying.

Prashant Bhushan, a noted rights activist and senior lawyer is appearing for NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) in the hearing.

Bhushan said according to the National E-Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP), 2020, electric vehicles were to be procured by the government.

Bhushan added that the authorities are required to provide charging points for electric vehicles at public places like malls and petrol pumps.

Bhushan also said that under the scheme, subsidies on sale of electric vehicles were to be provided for its promotion.

The bench has adjourned the hearing for four weeks and ordered that the government considers all issues related with the electric vehicles in the interim with the assistance of an authority empowered to take decisions.

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