The Delhi High Court on Thursday said existing rules on mandatory insurance cover, wearing helmets on two-wheelers and punitive action for non-compliance are already applicable to electric vehicles.
The High Court directed the Delhi government to ensure that the subsidy offered by the government for electric vehicles registered in the national capital is being distributed on time.
The high court order came while dismissing a public interest litigation (PIL) that had sought direction to the authorities to make insurance cover mandatory for electric two-wheelers as per the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act.
The PIL also sought direction to the court to direct authorities to make wearing helmets mandatory on all types of electric motorcycles and scooters.
A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramaniam Prasad said the PIL was filed solely on the basis of two news reports and the claims, allegations and issues raised by the petitioner are largely unsubstantiated and as such "frivolous". Instead of enabling "public interest litigation" access to justice actually hinders it "by wasting valuable judicial time".
"Had some due diligence and research been done on the part of the petitioner, it would have been clear that the issues raised by the petitioner in the instant PIL had already been addressed through relevant laws, rules and notifications," the bench said in its judgment. "has been addressed."
It states that the principle of Public Interest Litigation has been developed by the courts through various judgments to address issues of public interest and to assist those who have suffered public injury or whose fundamental rights have been violated and to redress grievances. But no attention has been paid.
"However, it is often seen that frivolous PILs are filed before the courts, thereby causing considerable delay in disposal of cases of genuine litigants with legitimate grievances."
The bench said, "While this court is aware of the purpose for which the doctrine of PIL has been developed, it must also ensure that persons do not misuse the liberal rules relating to PIL and waste the precious judicial time of this court." Don't do it."
The court advised the petitioner to exercise necessary diligence and restraint before filing such PIL in future.
Petitioner Rajat Kapoor, an advocate, said in his petition that under Section 146 of the Motor Vehicles Act, it is mandatory for a person to obtain an insurance policy against third party risks arising from the use of a motor vehicle.
He argued that this provision does not cover EVs and the Delhi Electric Vehicle Policy, 2020 covers various issues related to EVs. However, this does not include the issue of insurance policies to be obtained by those wishing to use EVs.
Delhi government's additional standing counsel Anuj Aggarwal told the court that the subsidy given for EVs registered in the national capital is being distributed on time and on priority basis.
Aggarwal said the term “battery-operated vehicle” is defined under Rule 2(u) of the CMV Rules and hence, EVs are covered under the MV Act and the rules made thereunder.
The bench said, "Since the relevant provisions of the MV Act and the Central Motor Vehicles (CMV) Rules are already applicable to EVs, particularly those relating to mandatory insurance cover, wearing of helmets on two-wheelers and penal provisions for non-compliance of the provisions, Therefore, this Court is of the opinion that there is no need to pass any order or direction in this regard.
It said that similarly, since the Union of India has already laid down the standards to be followed by manufacturers for batteries used in battery operated vehicles/EVs, any decision passed by this court There is no need for orders or instructions.