Updated: March 11, 2021 12:58:22 pm
The Delhi High Court Wednesday stayed the Delhi transport department’s decision to suspend Tata Nexon from the list of eligible electric vehicles for availing subsidy under the government’s Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy.
The government had taken the decision to suspend the vehicle from its subsidy list due to allegations regarding its promised and actual mileage.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva in an order said as per the policy and central motor vehicles rules, the eligibility criteria for grant of listing is 140 km per charge and the statutory body Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) has given a certificate to Tata Motors that the vehicle submitted for testing meets the requirement of 312 km per charge.
The court said it is not in dispute that the qualification range of the vehicle is 140 km per charge.
“It is common knowledge that performance of a vehicle would depend on the driving conditions as well as driving capabilities of the driver and the road and traffic conditions,” said the court, adding that the complaint against the vehicle does not from any angle suggest that the minimum range of even 140 km per charge was not met.
The court also said the order under challenge itself shows that there was no report before the officer who passed it that the minimum criteria as specified in the motor vehicle rules or the policy was not met. “The impugned order rather constitutes a committee of representatives from four organisations including the petitioner (Tata) to verify the claim of claimants as well the assertion of the petitioner. This goes on to show that there was no concrete material before the officer when the impugned order was passed,” it added.
It also observed that the Motor Vehicle Rules recognises only one statutory authority, ARIA, Pune, and the committee set up by the department cannot substitute the statutory committee. “No doubt such a committee can be constituted for verifying a claim and guiding the officer in taking a final decision. However, the decision of such a committee will not substitute the decision of a statutory constituted committee,” said the court further.
In the petition, Tata Motors argued that its vehicle has been suspended from the list on the basis of an isolated complaint and the decision seems to be motivated. “The unverified and unwarranted suspension of the listing of the subject vehicle will cause irreparable harm and damage to the petitioner company and will cause the consumers to lose their faith in the vehicle and company without any cause,” argued the petition.
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