SC Judgment
Luxury car makers and dealers breathed a sigh of relief with the Supreme Court allowing the fresh registration of high-end diesel cars and SUVs in Delhi and the National Capital Region, provided they pay the green charge of one per cent of the vehicle’s ex-showroom price.

Implementing the ‘polluter pays’ legal principle, a Special Bench led by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur directed the car makers or dealers to deposit the one per cent ‘environment compensation charge’ with the Central Pollution Control Board.

The ban, imposed on December 16, 2015, on diesel-run luxury vehicles, was meant to curb air pollution.The apex court has now agreed to hear arguments on extending the levy to smaller diesel cars with less than 2000 CC engine capacity.

The Bench’s decision to modify its December 16, 2015 ban on fresh registration of diesel cars with 2000 CC and above engine capacity came after manufacturers and dealers agreed to convey to their buyers that the payment of ECC would be a “condition precedent” for registration. 

The court modified its December order despite the Centre’s objection that courts do not have the authority to levy such charges, which lie solely within the domain of the Executive.