In a major boost for the AAP and the Delhi Government, the Delhi High Court comprising a division bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath on Monday (11 January 2016) said that they won’t interfere with the Odd-Even Formula brought by the Aam Aadmi Party Government.
As previously reported by TilakMarg (read here), the High Court had reserved judgment on 8th January when Senior Advocate and former Solicitor General of India, Harish Salve had argued representing the Delhi Government.
The Court said it will not “interfere unless the policy is unconstitutional or contrary to the statutory provisions” and that the Odd-Even Formula i.e. the Odd numbered cars would be allowed on odd dates and the Even numbered cars would be allowed on even dates would go on as scheduled till the 15th January 2016.
The bench held that the pilot project was for a limited 15-day period. “We are of the view the interference by this court is not warranted,” it said.
“The law is well settled that on matters affecting policy this court will not interfere unless the policy is unconstitutional or contrary to the statutory provisions or arbitrary or irrational or in abuse of power since the policy decision are taken based on expert knowledge of person concerned and courts are normally not equipped to question the correctness of a policy decision,” the order said.
It added: “Keeping in view that restrictions under the notification dated December 28, 2015 only for a limited period of 15 days and is stated that the scheme has been enforced as a pilot project to ascertain the reduction, if any, in the pollution levels, we are of the view that the interference by this court is not warranted.”
The bench, however, asked the Delhi government to consider the issues raised in over 12 different petitions against the scheme before coming out with similar restriction in future.
The Delhi Government had previously stated that it is yet to be decided whether the Odd-Even policy would continue even after 15th January and they will sit and decide on this matter.
The Delhi High Court has deleted one petition which is pertaining to the applicability of the formula to disabled persons, and has scheduled the hearing of that petition to 15th February 2016.
On an earlier date, the Delhi High Court had asked the government whether they can limit the odd-even policy for a week [read: Delhi HC asks government to limit the odd-even formula for a week].