The Supreme Court on Monday sought a response from the central government on validity of e-rickshaw under the existing legal regime.
A bench led by Chief Justice R M Lodha issued a notice to the government, asking whether e-rickshaw could validly ply under the pertinent motor vehicle rules.
The notice was issued on a petition by Bibhash Karmakar, who sought a ban on e-rickshaw since they were plying illegally of roads.
Union road transport minister Nitin Gadkari had recently come under attack from opponents for allegedly promoting the use of e-rickshaws for the benefit of a company run by his wife’s brother.
Purti Green Technologies Private Limited (PGTL) is one of the manufacturers of e-rickshaws, where Gadkari’s brother-in-law Rajesh Totade is a director with 50% stake.
PGTL was formed under the Purti Group which was promoted by Gadkari though he resigned as chairman of the Group in 2011.
Gadkari, however, shrugged off the charge. He denied any link with PGTL which is one of the seven companies authorized by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research to manufacture e-rickshaws. “Neither Shri Gadkari nor any member of his family is associated with any e-rickshaw manufacturing firm,” BJP and minister’s office claimed in identical statements.
He will leave for Bengaluru on March 5 and undergo naturopathy treatment there for 10 days.