Delhi High Court bans e-rickshaws in city

While the Central government plans to bring e-rickshaws under the ambit of local municipalities, Delhi High Court bans them citing safety and lack of regulations

By Anupam Chakravartty
Published: Thursday 31 July 2014


Even as Central government is planning to allow local municipalities to frame regulations for e-rickshaws, the Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the government to stop plying of e-rickshaws in the city till the delhi transport department comes up with a law to regulate these vehicles.

The court also took note of news reports that a three-year-old boy died and his mother was injured on Wednesday in Delhi as a result of an accident involving an e-rickshaw.

Lawyer Sugriva Dubey, who argued on behalf of  Shahnawaz Khan, the petitioner who filed a PIL against the Delhi government’s transport department, the bench comprising of justices B D Ahmad and S Mridul asked the government to stop the e-rickshaws “as of now while stating that unregulated plying of vehicles on Delhi roads is prima facie a hazard to other traffic on road as well as the citizens”.

“You stop them (e-rickshaws) in the meantime, till a law is framed to regulate them. You can't allow them to take law into their hands," the court said. The court directed: "Respondents (Delhi government and authorities) will forthwith take steps to prevent plying of e-rickshaws without fail.”

Advocate Zubeida Begum, counsel for Delhi government submitted to the court that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway was proposing to amend the Motor Vehicles Act to the extent that local municipal bodies would form rules for the e-rickshaws.

The court, however, set the ministry’s letter aside, and called the plying of the e-rickshaws as illegal in Delhi.
"There is no specific load or number of passengers that they are required to carry. They are not registered. They have no insurance," the bench observed.

Khan, the petitioner, a resident of east Delhi and a social worker, alleged that the e-rickshaws, which are operated with power output of 650 to 850 watt and are designed to ferry only four people, including the driver, were carrying more than eight people at a time, endangering their lives.

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