New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Wednesday directed the city government`s chief secretary to file a detailed affidavit on the policy for battery-operated e-rickshaws plying without licences or number plates.
A division bench of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Jayant Nath asked the chief secretary to apprise the court of why the government has not seized the e-rickshaws and on what grounds they were plying on roads.
The court remarked "bureaucrats don`t know how to think before passing orders".
"Seize them if you (government) need. How can somebody start manufacturing any contraption and ply on the road?" the bench added.
The court was not satisfied with an affidavit filed by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation recently that said it could not regulate battery-operated e-rickshaw unless the Delhi government framed a policy categorising whether it was a motorised vehicle or a non-motorised one.
The civic body said it regulated only non-motorised vehicles and rickshaws within its jurisdiction.
Pulling up the city transport department and the three civic corporations for permitting e-rickshaws to ply without registration and number plates, the high court had directed the department to make their registration mandatory and also to come up with a concrete policy on their operation.
The Delhi government and civic bodies have been slammed by the court frequently for shifting the blame on one another.
The bench had also observed that the vehicles not only created problems for the city`s traffic but were found carrying 8-10 passengers, more than their capacity.
Directing the transport department to frame the rules, the court had said these vehicles were also being used for carrying goods.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation seeking a ban on the e-rickshaws, contending they had no registration numbers and were putting passengers at risk since the latter cannot claim insurance in case of an accident.
The PIL said the e-rickshaws operated with four batteries and were designed to ferry four people, including the driver. It alleged that the drivers, at times, carried up to eight passengers, endangering their lives.
The court posted the matter for July 23.