The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has slapped a hefty fine on Volkswagen India over the allegations of using 'cheat devices' in the emission tests of its diesel vehicles. The court, in its order, has asked the German automaker to deposit an interim amount of Rs 100 Crore to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). For those asking, a 'cheat device' is actually a software installed in diesel engines in order to manipulate emission tests by faking the performance of the cars.
The NGT bench, headed by Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, in its order, also directed the formation of a committee comprising officials of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ministry of Heavy Industries, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). The committee is formed to caluculate the actual amount of loss towards environemnt by the 'cheat device' in the Volkswagen cars in India. The committee is ordered to submit the final report within a period of 30 days. The NGT also asked the company and the petitioner in the case to appear before it within a week's time with their submissions over the case.
Ms. Saloni Ailawadi, a school teacher, and several others had filed pleas before the tribunal demanding a ban on sale of Volkswagen vehicles in the Indian market over alleged violation of emission norms. In response, the German automaker had previously submitted a roadmap before the NGT as how it plans to rectify the alleged vehicles. The company had told the court that it will issue a recall for over 3.23 Lakh vehicles in the country which are said to be fitted with a 'defeat device' meant to fudge emission tests.
With inputs from ET Auto