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HC refuses to stay AAP’s odd-even formula for plying vehicles

Delhi high court

New Delhi :  The Delhi High Court today refused to give interim stay on AAP government’s plan to impose the odd-even number plate formula for plying of private vehicles from January 1.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath declined the request made by one of the five petitioners that the court should at least grant stay on the implementation of the government’s idea till January 6, which has been fixed as the next date of hearing on the PILs.

“Sorry. We do not know whether it (the odd-even formula) will be implemented or not. The Delhi government has not yet come out with any scheme on this issue,” the bench said, adding, “As of today we cannot grant such relief.”

The bench further observed that the city government has called for representation from various stakeholders of the society and as of today they have not finalised any scheme.

Additional Standing Counsel (ASC) Piyush Kalra, appearing for Delhi government, submitted before the court that as of now they have no notification for the proposed plan.

The bench, meanwhile, has asked the government to consider representation of a physically challenged man Nipun Malhotra, one of the petitioners who has urged the court to allow such commuters to use their own vehicles as public transport is not disabled-friendly.

It said, “We are concerned about this class (physically challenged) of people, so the Delhi government should consider them as well.”

“What precaution you are taking with regard to disabled people?” the bench asked the government.

The court was hearing five PILs filed by different individuals against AAP government’s plan to impose odd-even number plate formula.

Gunjan Khanna, a petitioner who commutes from Noida, said in her plea that there are no cycling lanes, if one wishes to move to more ecofriendly mode of transport.

Advocate Manoj Kumar, who filed joint PIL with Gunjan, said that the Delhi government should “call for public debate before enforcing the decision”.

Another plea by activist Anit Kumar Bahutay said the government has done nothing to encourage the use of electric vehicles or use of hybrid cars in the last 10 years.

“The plan is less reformative and more chaotic in nature,” the plea said.

Earlier, the high court had refused to pass any interim direction on the PILs, saying, “Delhi government has proposed an idea, which is to be implemented from January 1, 2016, on trial basis for 15 days, let them (Delhi government) try it.”

The court’s oral observation was made during hearing the PILs, filed by Shweta Kapoor and Sarvesh Singh, which sought directions for restraining implementation of policy.

One among the five petitioners claimed, “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 situation and facts and circumstances in India”.

It has also questioned whether the AAP government has the power to modify vehicular movement in the national capital.

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