SUDIPA NATH Vs. SRIRAM TARANI KANTI
HIGH COURT TRIPURA
Sriram Tarani Kanti
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INDRAJIT MAHANTY,CJ. -
(1.)The petitioner seeks initiation of contempt proceedings against the respondents for willfully disobeying/disregarding the directions of this Court issued vide order dtd. 21/12/2021 in WP(C)(PIL) No.30 of 2021, titled as Smt. Sudipa Nath v. Union of India & Ors.
(2.)PIL was filed by the petitioner herein, inter alia, stating that the Central Government of India, through its various Ministries and Departments has recognized the need to shift to electric vehicles and away from carbon based fuels to ensure protection of the environment. In this regard the Central Government, has taken various initiatives, including but not limited to framing of policies, grant of incentives, and carrying out amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act and Rules framed thereunder. Department of Heavy Industry, had launched schemes, namely Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India), for promotion of electric and hybrid vehicles. Another Scheme for Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India Phase II (FAME India Phase II) was issued with the approval of Union Cabinet for setting up of charging infrastructure, and creating information, education and communication networks for publicity to electric vehicles. One of the stated objectives of the scheme is for faster adoption of electric mobility and development of its manufacturing eco-system in the country. Similarly, the Union of India, through the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, made amendments in the Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989. Respondent No.1 also issued a standard operating procedure for the process of registration of vehicles imported by the vehicle manufacturers or through their authorized representatives in India. The petitioner sought directions in public interest to the State of Tripura to forthwith take steps to implement and ensure the effective adoption of the steps identified by the FAME India Phase II scheme issued by the Union of India and to take actions in line with the aforesaid policies, without which the public and residents of the state would not receive the benefits envisaged in an efficient and timely manner. The writ petition sought further directions to the respondents No.1, 2 and the Central Institute of Road Transport, Pune ("CIRT"), to implement the initiatives made by the Central Government in their true spirit by recognizing internationally available and recognized electric vehicles for direct import into India to ensure faster and more effective translation of the policy into reality.
(3.)It was further highlighted that owing to the distance range issues with currently available batteries, coupled with the meager amount of public charging infrastructure for as on date, there was a general discomfort amongst consumers in purchasing electric vehicles. One of the methods developed to overcome such discomfort, was to put in an electric vehicle, a fuel powered electric generator, that could charge the battery in case of emergencies where charging stations were not readily available during travel. Such a generator/charger, though working on fuel, would not provide traction energy to the motor, but would only charge the battery in case of emergencies to ensure that a consumer was not left stranded. In this context the specific instance of London Taxis presently run on the said technology in United Kingdom and Europe was highlighted. It was however informed that contrary to Rule 2(u), the same was classified as "Hybrid Electric Vehicle" rather than a "Battery Operated Vehicle" by CIRT, so as to deny the incentives promised by the Government.
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