No coercive action against Volkswagen: SC

No coercive action against Volkswagen: SC
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The court order comes on the eve of the deadline set by the NGT for Volkswagen India Private Limited

The court order comes on the eve of the deadline set by the NGT for Volkswagen India Private Limited, Indian subsidiary of German auto major, to deposit the fine with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)

New Delhi: In a relief to German auto major Volkswagen, the Supreme Court on Monday restrained the Centre from taking any "coercive" step against it for non-submission of Rs 500 crore fine imposed by the National Green Tribunal for damaging environment through use of "cheat device" in its diesel cars in India.

The court order came on the eve of the deadline set by the NGT for Volkswagen India Private Limited, Indian subsidiary of German auto major, to deposit the fine with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

"Issue notice. In the meantime, no coercive steps shall be taken against the appellant viz., Volkswagen India Private Limited," a bench of justices S A Bobde and S Abdul Nazeer, said.

The bench was hearing separate appeals filed by the auto major and the Inter-Continental Association of Lawyers against the March 7 order of the green tribunal imposing the Rs 500-crore fine.

The company has already deposited Rs 100 crore with the CPCB. Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for the auto major, said that the company was being penalised on the basis of a set of laws that did not exist at the first place.

The senior lawyer said that he suspected the firm has been victimised at the instance of its competitors.

Earlier, a green panel bench headed by chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel had directed the carmaker to deposit the amount within two months with CPCB.

The tribunal had enhanced the compensation amount of Rs 171.34 crore, which was recommended by an NGT-appointed committee, to Rs 500 crore as a means of "creating deterrence".

The auto maker, however, had said that it did not violate the BS-IV norms and that the test results were based on "on road testings" for which there were no prescribed standards.

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