Supreme Court Asks Nitin Gadkari to Explain Government’s Position on Electric Mobility

The matter has been adjourned for four weeks


The Supreme Court has requested the Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari to appear before it to discuss the proposal of the gradual transition of fossil-fuel-based vehicles on the roads to electric vehicles (EVS).

This is the first time when a minister has been called by the court to discuss government policies and decisions. This task is usually carried out by solicitor general or additional solicitor general.

According to news agency PTI, the apex bench comprising of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice B R Gavai, and Justice Surya Kant asked solicitor general Atmaram S Nadkarni whether the minister can come before the court for a discussion regarding the deployment of EVs and the government’s stand on the topic.

The bench stated that since the minister has been talking about the use of alternative fuel in public and private vehicles, the court would like to discuss with him to get a clearer picture of the issue. The court further noted that all the issues related to EVs need to be considered simultaneously with the person in authority empowered to take the decision.

The matter has been adjourned for four weeks, and the bench added that the government should consider all the issues related to EVs with the assistance of an authority to take the required decisions.

Recently, the Department of Heavy Industries (DHI) announced that it has so far approved 2,636 electric vehicle charging stations in 62 cities across 24 states and union territories under the second phase of FAME India (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India) program. According to the government’s statement, nearly 106 proposals were received from the public and private entities for the deployment of approximately 7,000 EV charging stations.

In November last year, the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises had announced that about 285,000 buyers of electric and hybrid vehicles have benefitted from the subsidies provided under the FAME program to the tune of ₹3.6 billion (~$50.2 million).

Image credit: Press Information Bureau, Government of India / CC BY [3.0]