SC terms petition challenging Delhi govt’s Odd-Even Plan a ‘publicity stunt’


An angry Supreme Court’s on Thursday came down heavily on a petitioner who wanted the Delhi government’s Odd-Even Formula to curb pollution scrapped, calling his petition a “publicity stunt” and warned of imposing heavy cost against such frivolous petitions.

The petitioner wanted the court to urgently hear his plea against a Delhi High Court order that had refused to stop the Odd-Even Formula to curb pollution initiated by Arvind Kejriwal’s Delhi government.

The Supreme Court also warned the if such “frivolous petitions” challenging the Odd-Even Formula would be filed it would impose heavy cost on the petitioners.

“People are dying due to pollution. We are car-pooling and you want to challenge it?” Chief Justice of India TS Thakur, who is heading the bench that is hearing the petition, told the petitioner.

Justice Thakur’s annoyance is understandable as he has already let his mind known on the Odd-Even Scheme by himself setting an example for everyone in Delhi — and all such cities that are heavily polluted due to vehicular pollution — to follow.

OddEven TK Thakur & Sikiri carpool
Chief Justice of India TS Thakur and Justice AK Sikri pooling a car to go to the Supreme Court on January 1. They also finalised their travel plans for car pooling till January 15, when the Odd-Even Formula of the Delhi government ends, thus setting an example for residents of Delhi to support the anti-pollution drive by regulating plying of private vehicles.

On January 1, Justice Thakur and Justice AK Sikri pooled a car to go to the Supreme Court. They also finalised their travel plans for the next 15 days, till January 15, when the scheme ends, to set the example.

A Supreme Court bench headed byh Thakur is hearing petitions related to rising pollution in the capital.

The Delhi High Court had on Monday refused to stop the 15-day trial run of the Odd-Even Formula, allowing it to complete its full course.

The court, however, had directed the Delhi government to take into account all the objections raised by all the petitioners.

The next date of hearing in Delhi High Court is on 15 February.

“I want to thank the Delhi High Court for deciding in favour of Delhi people,” Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai said, reacting to the order.

The court earlier said it would not interfere with the “notification” which allows only cars with odd-numbered licence plates on Delhi’s roads on odd-numbered dates, and those with even-numbered plates on the other days.

However, the judges said that the government must consider some of the issues raised by petitioners on Odd-Even Formula if it implements such a scheme again in future.

The Aam Aadmi Party government had declared its two-week experiment launched on 1 January to tackle the increasing pollution and smog in the capital,

The Delhi government has said it would decide on its next plan after analysing pollution data and reviewing progress after the trial period ends on Friday.

The Delhi government in statement has said that the air pollution by vehicular traffic has declined by 50 per cent in the National Capital Region.