The Delhi High Court on Thursday said the relevant provisions of the Motor Vehicle (MV) Act and Central Motor Vehicle (CMV) Rules, 1989, are already applicable to the vehicles and dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) sought direction to make compulsion for 2 wheelers Electric Scooters/Bikes.
The plea has also sought direction for appropriate guidelines till appropriate legislation is made to ensure standardized manufacturing of reliable and long-lasting Batteries that do not catch fire while being charged or otherwise.
The bench of Justice Satish Chander Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula on Thursday passed the judgement and said, "As the relevant provisions of the MV Act and CMV Rules are already applicable to EVs, specifically pertaining to mandatory insurance cover, wearing of headgear on two-wheelers, and penal provisions for non-compliance of the provisions, this Court is of the opinion that no orders or directions are required to be passed in this respect.
Similarly, as the Union of India has already prescribed standards to be followed by manufacturers for batteries to be used in battery-operated vehicles/EVs, there is no need for any orders/directions to be passed by this Court in that regard as well, said the Court.
The Government of NCT Delhi shall continue to ensure that the subsidy offered by it for electric vehicles registered in the NCT of Delhi is being duly disbursed in a timely manner.
Advocate Gurdas Khurana appearing for the Union of India, opposed the plea and submitted that EVs are already treated as motor vehicles under the MV Act read with the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989. He further submitted that Section 146 of the MV Act mandates compulsory insurance cover for Motor vehicles, and Section 129 of the MV Act mandates the wearing of protective headgear while driving or riding a two-wheeler of any class or description in a public place.
He also submitted that the MV Act, under Sections 194D and 196, provides for penal consequences in case of contravention of the mandate of compulsory insurance and the wearing of protective headgear as provided in the aforesaid provisions.
The Petitioner Rajat Kapoor earlier stated that lack of rules relating to insurance will create a plethora of vehicles running or flying on the road which do not have any source of origin and this can create a situation of havoc in coming days. Specifically on the point of Third-party Insurance, it is very important that electric vehicles should not allowed to leave the showroom till the time the insurance formality is complete.
The plea further stated that, if the EV is a two-wheeler with a maximum speed of up to 25 kmph and power of up to 250 watts, it does not require a driver's licence to operate. But nevertheless, there must be a provision for insurance coverage to cover minimum third-party risks.
The demand for Electric Vehicles (EVS) is slowly gathering pace in India. Apart from being a green alternative to petrol and diesel vehicles, they can also be cheaper to run in the long-term. As the EV market is still developing in India, prospective buyers may have concerns about where they can find suitable Electric Vehicle Insurance, said the plea.
To cope up with the growing demand, auto manufacturers are developing different types of EVs to cater to the different needs of private buyers. With the wider adoption of EV vehicles, new-age insurance companies must come forward to provide vehicle insurance for electric vehicles, read the plea.
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