The Supreme Court today warned that contempt notice would be issued if its order on levy of Environment Compensation Charge (ECC) ranging from Rs 700 to Rs 1300 on commercial vehicles entering Delhi is not obeyed.
“We are not going to change a word of our order. If the contractor does not obey our order, we will issue contempt. This order is to save the people of Delhi and we are not going to touch our earlier order,” a bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu said.
The bench also referred to reports about pollution level in the national capital touching new high after Diwali and said, “day in and day out, we see in the newspapers that there is highest level of pollution in the city.”
It further said that despite the order, no ECC was collected between November 1 and 6 and SMYR Consortium LLP, which has been levying toll on behalf of MCD, is coming out with all “sort of submissions”. As a consequence, the company was making itself liable for contempt, it said.
However, the bench, which also comprised Justices Shiv Kirti Singh and Amitava Roy, later heard for an hour the counsel for the SMYR Consortium LLP that it cannot be held liable for any action, and that too, without being heard.
The Consortium is seeking modification of the order, claiming that the levy of court-mandated ECC was beyond the terms of agreement entered into between it and the civic body.
Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for the consortium, said the concessionaire was not even a party in the proceedings and the “minimum norms of fairness” required that at least they are heard before any order is passed.
“This is extremely excessive and improper. There is no application of mind to the contractual agreement which has been entered into,” Divan said.
He contended that the commercial arrangement would be disturbed by casting additional responsibility on the consortium.
“As a commercial player, I (consortium) do not want to be part of this collection process. I do not want to assume responsibility and I wan’t to opt out,” he said.
The apex court has now fixed the matter for next hearing on November 27.
( Source – PTI )