BALAJI AUTOMOBILE Vs. STATE OF RAJASTHAN
LAWS(RAJ)-2019-3-38
HIGH COURT OF RAJASTHAN (AT: JAIPUR)
Decided on March 26,2019

Balaji Automobile Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF RAJASTHAN Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) By way of this writ petition, the petitioner has questioned legality of public notice dated 7.2.18 issued by the Regional Transport Authority, Bikaner whereby while notifying the list of 15 years old diesel operated auto-rickshaws, the permit holders thereof are informed to replace their vehicles by auto-rickshaws having LPG/CNG engine within a period of 15 days. The petitioner has also questioned the legality of notification dated 15.12.16 issued by the Department of Transport, Government of Rajasthan, in exercise of the power conferred under sub-section (3) (a) of Section 74 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (for short "the Act"), the number of contract carriage permits for operating auto- rickshaw/auto tonga has been restricted to 6000 and it is directed that the new permits shall be issued only in respect of the vehicles operated by LPG/CNG fuel and further the existing three wheeler vehicles shall only be permitted to be replaced by LPG/CNG operated vehicles.
(2.) The petitioner, a proprietorship concern, engaged in sale of commercial vehicles is an authorised dealer of M/s. PIAGGIO Vehicles Pvt.Ltd. (PVPL) which is one of the leading three wheeler commercial vehicles manufacturer in India. As per the averments made in the petition, presently, PVPL manufactures various three and four wheelers models with the technology BS IV Engine operated by use of fuel diesel, petrol and gas.
(3.) Precisely, the case set out by the petitioner is that as per order dated 29.3.17 passed by the Apex Court in M.C.Mehta vs. Union of India, AIR 2017 SC 2430, on and from 1.4.17 such vehicles that are not Bharat Stage-IV (BS-IV) compliant shall not be sold in India by any manufacturer or dealer and accordingly, all the vehicle registering authorities under the Act are prohibited from registering such vehicle on and from 1.4.17 that do not meet BS-IV emission standards, except on proof that such a vehicle has already been sold on or before 31.3.17. According to the petitioner, the action of the respondent authorities in issuing impugned notification prohibiting the registration of the vehicles and grant of permit for diesel auto-rickshaw completely even if it has compatibility of BS-IV engine is ex facie illegal and arbitrary being contrary to the specific directions issued by the Apex Court as aforesaid. It is submitted that the State Government and its agencies are permitting the diesel auto-rickshaw in the rural area or the places where the facilities to refill LPG/CNG is not available and thus, the impugned notification issued bears no nexus with the objects sought to be achieved inasmuch as, even in the city areas of State of Rajasthan, the infrastructure for LPG/CNG has not been made available.;


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