The Centre on Friday told the National Green Tribunal that there was no law under which they can ban diesel vehicles more than 15 years old. The Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises added that the tribunals July 18 order banning diesel vehicles more than 10 years old in Delhi was a "contravention" of the Motor Vehicles Act, PTI reported.

In an affidavit filed before the green court panel, "There is no provision in the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, as amended in 2015, or any rule made thereunder that has been violated by the motor vehicles whose registration has been ordered to be cancelled." It also warned that the "forcible scrapping" of vehicles done in accordance with the tribunal's direction may lead affected vehicle owners to file writ petitions.

The ministry further added that there was a legal provision under which only vehicles with a valid "Pollution under Control" certificate are allowed to ply on roads. The affidavit was filed in response to the NGT's order asking for a status report on electric and hybrid vehicles in India, as well as on what the ministry will offer those who wan to scrap their old vehicles. The matter will be brought up before the court on August 2.

On July 20, the NGT had ordered for a phase-wise deregistration of diesel vehicles 15 to 10 years old in Delhi. It had also banned the entry of such trucks with national permits in the Delhi-National Capital Region.