NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday said there will be no new registration of
diesel taxis and only cabs running on petrol and compressed natural gas
(CNG) or either of two will be registered in Delhi
The ban on
registration of diesel vehicles with engine capacity of 2,000 cc or
above will meanwhile continue in the national capital till further
A bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice A.K.Sikri
and Justice R. Banumathi said all the cabs now operating within National
Capital Territory (NCT) area will be allowed to operate in National
Capital Region (NCR).
Addressing the problem being faced by the
people in the wake of the order banning the running of diesel cabs as
flagged by the central and Delhi governments, the court said that diesel
taxis holding all-India tourist permit will be allowed to operate
point-to-point for the pickup and drop of the people within Delhi/NCR
till the expiry of their permits.
Pointing out that these diesel
vehicles operating under such permits would have to "comply with
regulations of safety, security and fare", the bench said that any
future renewal of their permit would be subject to an undertaking that
in future they would not run their diesel taxis for the pickup and drop
of people on point to point basis.
The bench said that the
operators of these vehicles would faithfully adhere to the rules and
regulation of the competent authority as it modified its earlier April
30 order banning the plying of the diesel cabs in NCR after it refused
to give any further extension of time for diesel cab owners to switch
over the cleaner CNG.
Having said this, the court said the
government will frame suitable rules and there has to be a gradual phase
out of diesel cabs.
The top court by its December 16, 2015 order
had asked the diesel cab operators in Delhi to switch over to CNG by
March 1, and by a January 5 order, brought in all diesel cars operating
in National Capital Region in the ambit of the December 16, 2015 order
while extending the deadline to March 31.
On March 31 on request
by the diesel cab operators, the time was extended to April 30 with
court then making it clear that it would give not further extension of
time to switch over to CNG.
Appearing for IT sector apex body
NASSCOM, senior counsel Kapil Sibal told the court that the prohibition
on the plying of the diesel cabs could drive BPO business out of the
country and adversely affect 2.5 lakhs employees working with them.
the court that it needs time to phase out 14,000 taxis ferrying the BPO
staff, he said that once the existing contract that various BPOs were
having with can companies comes to an end, they would enter into
contract with those having CNG fuelled cabs.