The Supreme Court of India has extended the ban on the registration of diesel cars and SUVs above 2000cc in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) until the next hearing of the case. The apex court did not immediately say when it would hear the case next, but it is expected to take place sometime in April.
The three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice T.S. Thakur also said that an exorbitantenvironmental compensation cess would be imposed on these high-end diesel vehicles as a possible condition to lift the ban. “We can modify our order, but buyers (of bigger cars) will have to pay the cost to help the environment,” Thakur remarked. Any decision on levying an extra charge on diesel cars would spell further stress on an industry that’s already suffering from ailing sales and the recently introduced infrastructure cess.
The Supreme Court had banned registration of private vehicles with engines displacing 2-litres or more on December 16, 2015, in a bid to cut down the rising levels of harmful particulate matter emissions in the city. The ban was to continue till March 31, 2016.
Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata and Jaguar Land Rover are some of the carmakers that have been the worst hit by this three-month ban. However, M&M bypassed the ban by announcing sub 2.0-litre variants of its successful SUVs – the Scorpio and the XUV500.