The Delhi High Court is likely to hear Tuesday the plea of a group of autorickshaw drivers against the government’s June 6 order prohibiting them from putting advertisements and posters on their commercial vehicles.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bakhru, which was to hear the plea Monday put off the proceeding by a day as counsel for the drivers Prashant Bhushan could not appear in court.
The bench, which was not pleased to postpone the matter, warned the counsel of vacating the stay (on government’s order) granted by the court earlier.
“We will vacate the stay. You have stay and now you don’t appear, its not fair. We will keep the case for tomorrow and counsel has to appear tomorrow. Otherwise we can vacate the stay,” Justice Bakhru said.
The court stayed the government order prohibiting autorickshaws from displaying advertisements and posters and restrained any coercive action against the drivers.
On Monday, after the court’s lunch break, Bhushan appeared before the court urging the judges to be heard but the plea could not be accepted as the Delhi government’s counsel was not present.
Appearing for the drivers, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) member and lawyer Bhushan had earlier told the court that the “government’s action was discriminatory” and was targeted at the party whose posters were displayed by hundreds of autorickshaws.
The Delhi government had also initiated a move to prosecute autorickshaw owners or drivers for displaying the advertisements.
The drivers said in their petition that the prohibition on advertisements on auto-rickshaws was discriminatory as radio taxis were permitted to do so.