The Supreme Court, after several hearings, has eventually lifted the ban on registration of diesel cars above 2000cc in the Delhi-NCR region. The Court has directed that all the manufacturers, dealers or buyers have to deposit 1 percent environment compensation cost on purchase. The 1 percent tax would be levied on the Ex-Showroom price of diesel cars above 2000cc as green cess. This is a big respite for several automakers, predominantly Toyota, Mahindra, Tata Motors and Mercedes-Benz.
A couple of days back, Tata Motors, the home-grown automaker, has moved to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for clarification on the same. The Supreme Court, hearing the plea of Mercedes-Benz, said that diesel vehicles 2000 cc and above will not be banned in and around Delhi. In fact, the Government of India had also urged the Supreme Court to lift this ban as it had created "uncertainty" in the minds of "foreign investors". It was learnt a few days back that due to this ban, Toyota has suffered a heavy loss of Rs. 1700 Crores. The company had to hold back its investment plans in India. Moreover, the new Fortuner's launch was delayed too as it carried diesel engine above 2000cc.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had told a three-judge special bench, comprising Chief Justice of India TS Thakur, and Justices AK Sikri and R Banumathi, that the ban had signaled "inconsistent policy" to "foreign investors", created "uncertainty" among them and jeopardised millions of jobs in the sector. Mercedes-Benz, which has no model less than 2000cc, and Toyota, however, offered to voluntarily deposit a one per cent cess on the Ex-showroom price of their models in a bid to get the court to permit them to sell their diesel variants.