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Order on e-rickshaws Sep 9, says Delhi HC

Posted on Aug 30 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Aug 29 : The Delhi High Court Friday said it will Sep 9 pass an order on whether to lift a ban on plying of e-rickshaws in the capital till the law is amended to bring them under the ambit of the Motor Vehicles Act.

A division bench of Justice B.D Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul also observed that it seems central government is not keen on lifting of the ban on e-rickshaws.

"Once we know it's illegal, can we permit it? We are only considering it (this case) because you (central government) said people are being affected, otherwise we would have not taken up this matter to consider lifting of ban," the bench said, after Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Pinky Anand sought the stay be vacated.

"We see that government doesn't seems to be very keen for the ban to be lifted. We are not getting adequate support from you. You should have done something by now," it said.

Anand, however, objected to this saying that the government has been doing everything possible and even came up with draft rules on plying of these battery-operated vehicles, and these have been submitted to the law ministry.

Advocate Sugriv Dubey appearing for social activist Shanawaz, who filed the petition to ban e-rickshaws, told the bench that due to e-rickshaws, two major accidents have happened and two people have died. He said that 137 cases have be en registered due to rash and negligence driving by these drivers.

He also told the court that the traffic police has written to the Delhi government about the rules that could be followed by e-rickshaw drivers like on the roads these vehicles can ply, no carrying of loads, number of passengers etc.

At this, the court expressed its displeasure, noting this "important" document has not been filed before it.

"Traffic police has already taken view in the issue. It's very important document and if something is already done, why can't you (government) apply that. Why this document is not on record?" it asked.

The court also asked the ASG why can't the government bring an ordinance. The ASG said that time is needed to bring amend the rules in Motor Vehicles Act.

She also said that e-rickshaw operators live on the basis of their earnings and the government is seeking an exemption or interim directions till Oct 15, by which the government will be able to bring an amendment in the rules under the Motor Vehicles Act.

On July 31, the bench banned plying of e-rickshaws on city roads while saying they are illegally running and hazardous to other traffic as well as citizens.

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