The Supreme Court on Monday refused to interfere with the interim orders of NGT, which has directed Volkswagen to deposit a fine of Rs 100 crore for damage to health caused in India by using ‘cheat device’ in emission tests of its diesel vehicles.
The bench of justices D Y Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta, however, restrained the NGT from taking any punitive action against the directors of the company, regarding the deposition of Rs 100 crore, after Volkswagen informed that it had complied with the orders and deposited the amount with the CPCB. The SC has now said that all rights and contentions of the parties would remain open and Volkswagen can raise its objections to the findings of the committee before the NGT.
The Indian Express had first reported the findings of the four-member expert panel that had concluded that Volkswagen cars had released approximately 48.678 tonnes of NOx in 2016. The panel, which used Delhi as the base city to calculate damages, has “estimated cost of health damage due to additional NOx from the Volkswagen group vehicles is approximately Rs 171.34 crore”. And had recommended that the company pay this as a “conservative” fine for damage to health caused in India. In its November 16 order, the NGT had said that Rs 100 crore had been fixed “having regard to the capacity of the enterprise and possible adverse impact on the environment and deposit is only an interim measure, awaiting expert opinion on the subject.” A spokesperson of Volkswagen Group India said that all cars of the company are complying with the emission norms in India.