The ban on registration of passenger vehicles with diesel engines of 2,000 cc or more was imposed in December as a temporary measure to reduce air pollution in the capital. On Friday, a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakurhad ordered one per cent of such vehicles’ ex-showroom price be paid by manufacturers and distributors for registration in Delhi.
The funds collected from this levy was ordered to be deposited in an account of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to be opened in any public sector bank. However, CPCB officials said the government itself had filed an application against Friday’s order. The new levy has been named environment protection charge after the government argued imposition of taxes was the prerogative of Parliament. Solicitor-General Ranjit Kumar on Friday moved an application against the order, which the court is likely to consider at the next hearing. “No bank account has been opened because details of the Supreme Court order like the rate of tax is sub judice,” a CPCB official said. With the court not specifying the date of the next hearing, the matter has become more complicated.