The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to pass an interim order to stay the AAP government’s decision to restrict the number of private vehicles on roads on the basis of odd or even numbers on their licence plates from January 1. The court said a public interest litigation filed in this connection was “premature”.
The bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath said the Delhi government had proposed to introduce the plan to run the vehicles with odd and even registration numbers on alternate days on a trial basis, observing that the PIL seemed to have been filed “for publicity”. “It is just a proposal… If you are doing it for the sake of public interest, come after two weeks,” the Bench told the petitioner, Shweta Kapoor.
The court has adjourned the hearing till December 23, observing that the suggestions sought by the Delhi government regarding the proposed policy were likely to be available by that time, and there “would be more clarity about the policy”.
The AAP government had announced the decision last week after the High Court pulled up the authorities for not having a concrete plan to tackle dangerous levels of air pollution in the Capital. A Division Bench of the High Court had observed that living in Delhi was like living in a “gas chamber”.
The proposal had triggered widespread debate and some experts had expressed doubts about its practicality. The PIL was filed in the HC in the midst of the Delhi government sending mixed signals on the enforcement of the decision.
Calling the decision of the Delhi government a “reaction plan instead of an action plan,” the PIL, filed by advocate Shweta Kapoor had sought court orders to strike down the AAP government decision on grounds that it was “arbitrary, illegal, irrational, illogical” and violated fundamental rights of citizens. The proposed traffic restrictions are scheduled to come into effect on January 1.
“The imposition of such a policy/law would be contrary to public interest and has been imposed without any public debate or discussion and without understanding the situation and facts and circumstances in India and particularly in Delhi,” states the PIL. The plea also claimed the restriction on use of private vehicles would affect safety of women in the capital.