Odd-even plan: Delhi HC seeks Delhi govt’s reply on traffic restrictions

The Delhi high court on Tuesday sought AAP government’s response on a plea seeking quashing of the notification restricting movement of vehicles on the basis of odd-even registration numbers.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath also issued notice to Delhi government and asked it to file a status report on another plea seeking exemption for advocates from the ongoing odd-even scheme.

From April 15, for two weeks, cars are allowed on Delhi roads on alternate days, going by whether their number plates are odd or even. The second round of traffic rationing measures follows a two-week trial at the beginning of January that took more than a million cars off the roads each day.

The court was of the view that in its earlier order it had asked the Delhi government to consider the issues raised by a group of lawyers in their petition filed during the first phase of the odd-even scheme.

“Please get instructions and file a status report on whether you have considered this aspect (exempting the lawyers or not). Tell us with regard to the steps you have taken before issuance of this present notification,” the bench said and listed the matter for further hearing on April 25.

The court was hearing two petitions – one challenging the April 11 notification restricting movement of vehicles on the basis of odd-even registration numbers and another seeking exemption for lawyers from the scheme.

The plea seeking exemption for lawyers, which was filed by advocate Rajiv Khosla, had contended that they are entitled to be exempted as they assist the courts in guarding the personal liberty and civil rights of citizens.

It had also opposed the imposition of Rs 2,000 as fine for violation claiming that, without proper amendments in the Motor Vehicles Act, Delhi government “cannot arbitrarily” fix a fine.

Another plea, filed by Delhi resident Rohini Jolly through advocate Sachit Jolly, sought quashing of the April 11 notification restricting movement of vehicles on the basis of odd-even registration numbers.

The petition contended that Section 115 of Motor Vehicles Act does not empower the state government to prohibit or restrict vehicles on the basis of registration numbers.

“Therefore, the restrictions on plying of vehicles imposed under Section 115 of the MV Act must naturally be towards control of movement of traffic and therefore, the words ‘in the interest of public safety or convenience’ must be read in a manner to mean inconvenience from movement of vehicles and not pollution for vehicles which can happen even from stationary vehicles,” the plea said.

The petition also referred to a January 11, 2016 order of the high court in which it had directed the government to take into consideration the contents of the petitions, which had challenged the government’s scheme, before proceeding further with the scheme in future.

The plea also claimed that the notification discriminates between driving and non-driving women as it exempts vehicles driven by them on the grounds of safety.

It sought that cars in which women are being driven have not been exempted which does not serve the purpose.


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