The Supreme Court of India has recently called Transport minister Nitin Gadkari to explain the government’s policies in regard to the transmission from petroleum-based vehicles to EVs in court.
The SC bench comprising of Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde, Bhushan Ramkrishna Gavai and Surya Kant said that although Gadkari had made several statements about EVs, it would be better if he comes to the court and explains the policies and why they have not increased EV adoption in the country.
As attorney general, solicitor general, or additional solicitors generals usually represent the government in judiciary cases, this could be the first time when a union cabinet minister has been called to the SC to explain a policy or any decision of the government, according to a report in TOI.
In March 2019, a plea was filed in the SC by three non-government organisations — the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), Common Cause, and Sita Ram Jindal Foundation — which urged the apex court to direct the government to take steps for faster adoption of EVs to safeguard citizens’ fundamental rights to breathe clean air, health, and clean environment.
In the plea, these organisations also noted that under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020 (NMMEP), which was launched in 2012, the government had promised an investment of INR 14,500 Cr, however, the government only spent about 600 Cr till 2018. The plea also read that although government planned to adopt 7 Mn EVs or hybrid vehicles, less than 0.3 Mn such vehicles had been adopted till 2018.