New Delhi: There will be no new registration of diesel-run taxis in the national capital, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed but gave a breather to cabs having all India tourist permits to ply in the national capital till the expiry of their permits.
“No new diesel taxis will be registered in Delhi. All registration of city taxis shall only be permitted only if the vehicles operate on dual-fuel (CNG/Petrol), or purely CNG or petrol. We make it clear that no new diesel vehicles can be registered as city taxis,” a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said.
The apex court allowed existing All India Tourist Permit (AITP) diesel taxis to operate in the national capital till the expiry of their permit, which is issued for a period of five years, and said no renewal of the same would be done.
New AITP permits will be labelled ‘AITP-N’ and holders will not be authorised to offer point-to-point (within city) services in NCR while existing AITPs will be converted to ‘AITP-O’ permits for NCR to provide point-to-point services, like those used by business process outsourcing (BPO) firms, the court added.
It, however, clarified that diesel cabs which are being allowed to ply will run subject to norms on safety, security, pricing and other clearances given by competent authorities.
“Safety and security is an important aspect as you must have seen some of the recent incidents,” the bench observed.
The top court also said that AITP taxi would be allowed to carry out point to point travel service within NCT.
The bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi, modified its earlier orders which barred diesel taxis from plying in NCR.
The order came after senior advocate Harish Salve, appointed as amicus curiae in the case, told the bench that the ban order has forced 64,500 taxis off the road leading to a trouble situation overnight.
He suggested that Centre should issue norms for regulating taxis having All India Permits and it should decide a way forward for non-diesel cabs.
“The Centre should give new tourism permits allowing taxis to cater to point to point travel services within NCR. Meanwhile, let the present situation continue till the Centre comes out with new Rules regulating them,” Salve said.
Solicitor general Ranjit Kumar argued that NCR-specific rules would be difficult to formulate, as AITP rules were meant for the whole country.
IT industry body National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) assured the court that all its future contracts would ensure that cabs will only be non-diesel cabs.