In its latest petition, the Centre has requested that diesel-powered defence vehicles, school buses, tractors & private vehicles should be taken out of the NGT's blanket ban on old diesel vehicles in Delhi-NCR.
The central government has recently filed a petition with the Supreme Court of India, which demands that certain specific categories of vehicles should be exempted from the National Green Tribunal's (NGT's) ban on old diesel vehicles, which is currently in effect in Delhi-NCR. To give you a brief overview of the situation, in 2016, the NGT had ordered all Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) of Delhi to de-register all diesel vehicles plying in the city that were aged over 10 years. The decision was taken keeping into consideration Delhi's deteriorating air quality. In January 2017, the central government had challenged the NGT's order in the Supreme Court, but the NGT refused to budge. Thus, the current plea filed by the central government once again challenges the NGT's 2016 order.
This time though, the central government has requested that only diesel-powered defence vehicles, school buses, tractors & private vehicles should be exempted from the ban, stating that the inability of the owners of such vehicles to replace them is hurting their economic condition and directly taking a toll on their livelihoods. This is certainly different reasoning as compared to that given by the central government in its January 2017 challenge petition. At the time, the central government had called the move 'unjust' as all vehicle owners pay a one-time vehicle registration fee for 15 years, at the time of purchase. And therefore, they would suffer a loss if their vehicle is taken away and impounded after 10 years.
Further, the central government also challenged the NGT order on the basis that the Pollution Under Control (PUC) Certificate was already in place to determine if a vehicle was fit/unfit for use. Therefore, an arbitrary order to take all 10-year diesel vehicles off the roads of Delhi-NCR was not needed. However, this reasoning failed to move the NGT. We are yet to see how the Supreme Court reacts to the current petition.