No coercive step against Volkswagen: SC on plea challenging NGT order
The Supreme Court on Monday directed that no coercive step should be taken against Volkswagen till the court hears a plea by the German auto major challenging an NGT order imposing Rs 500-crore fine for environmental damages by use of ‘cheat device‘ in its diesel cars.
The order was passed by a bench of Justices S A Bobde and N V Ramanna. The court did not fix any date for hearing the petition.
After the matter was mentioned by senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, the bench said that no coercive steps should be taken against the company till it hears the matter.
On March 7, the car manufacturer was asked by the NGT to deposit the fine with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) within two months. The NGT order came on a petition seeking a ban on the sale of Volkswagen vehicles for alleged violation of emission norms.
The green body had on November 16 last year constituted a four-member expert panel to submit a report on the issue in the wake of the 2015 global emission scandal or ‘Dieselgate‘ when Volkswagen was found guilty of intentionally programming its diesel engines with cheat devices to meet US regulatory standards.
The expert panel report on December 24 had said that the vehicles actually emitted up to 40 times more nitrous oxides (NOx) than the stipulated level in real-world conditions.
The panel, which used New Delhi as the base city to calculate the penalty, estimated the cost of health damage due to additional NOx from the Volkswagen group vehicles was nearly Rs 171.34 crore.
On January 21, Volkswagen had informed the NGT that it had deposited Rs 100 crore in accordance with the tribunal’s order.
On March 7, the NGT increased the penalty from Rs 171.34 crore to Rs 500 crore and said Volkswagen must deposit the amount with the CPCB within two months. (ANI)