The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the National Green Tribunal in a petition filed by German automobile giant Volkswagen, which has challenged the green court’s decision to penalise it Rs 500 crore, Bar and Bench reported.
The court agreed to hear the company’s plea and directed that no coercive steps can be taken against it till it hears the matter, according to Mint.
Volkswagen had been fined Rs 100 crore in November for damaging the environment by using a “cheat device” in its diesel cars. However, the tribunal increased the penalty to Rs 500 crore in March after the top court pointed out four errors in its verdict. The company’s counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi told Justices SA Bobde and S Abdul Nazeer that the tribunal had raised the compensation amount as a means of “creating deterrence”. He argued that the National Green Tribunal did not consider the report of its own committee report while increasing the fine. The lawyer claimed the report found that Volkswagen had committed no violations. Other car manufacturers commit much greater violations, Singhvi added.
According to the report, Volkswagen cars released an estimated 48.678 tonnes of nitrogen oxide in 2016 in Delhi, in excess of the permissible limits. Nitrogen oxide is a pollutant that is known to cause heart and lung diseases.