High Court refuses to stay Delhi govt’s new odd-even number plate traffic rules

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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to pass an interim order to stay the “Aam Aadmi Party” government’s decision to restrict the number of private vehicles on roads on the basis of odd-even number of their licence plates from January 1. The court said a public interest case filed in this connection was “premature”.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath said the Delhi government had proposed to introduce the plan to run the vehicles with odd and even registration numbers on alternate days on a trial basis.

“It is just a proposal. If you doing it for the sake of public interest, come after two weeks,” the Bench told the applicant, Shweta Kapoor, who is a lawyer in the High Court. The court posted the case for further hearing on December 23.

The AAP government had announced the decision last week after the High Court pulled up the authorities for not having a concrete plan to tackle dangerous levels of air pollution in the Capital. A Division Bench of the High Court had observed that living in Delhi was like living in a “gas chamber”.

The proposed move had triggered a diffused debate and a cross section of experts had expressed doubts about its practicability. The PIL was filed in the High Court in the midst of the Delhi government sending mixed signals on the enforcement of the decision.

Ms. Kapoor struggle in her PIL that the decision had been taken without a public debate and without taking the view of “Aam Aadmi” into consideration, while a number of suggestions made to the government were ignored.

The petition said no statistics had been put forth or determined by the Delhi government about which class of vehicles was causing the maximum pollution. Seeking a restraint on the Delhi government from enforcing the decision and directions to call for a public debate on the issue, Ms. Kapoor said there was a total lack of infrastructure and public safety on the city roads, particularly for women, as buses and private taxis were not available at odd hours.

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