Odd-even scheme: HC asks Delhi to respond to advocates’ plea

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New Delhi, April 19 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the Delhi government to file a response to a plea seeking exemption for advocates from the second phase of the odd-even traffic restrictions scheme now being run in the capital.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath also asked the government to state whether it took into consideration representations by public and different professional associations before implementing the scheme.

The government has to file response by April 25, the next date of hearing.

The second phase of traffic restrictions based on odd-even last digit of registration numbers of four-wheelers was launched by the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government on April 15 and will continue till the end of the month.

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The petition filed by Delhi High Court Bar Association president Rajiv Khosla alleged that the April 11 notification by the Delhi government on the fortnight-long odd-even scheme, which came into force from April 15, was “arbitrary, illegal, unreasonable and against the spirit of the Constitution”.

He also challenged imposition of Rs.2,000 as fine for violation without proper amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act.

The plea said that the notification is hampering the legal fraternity in carrying out its professional responsibility of practicing as an advocate in different courts and tribunals in Delhi.

“It is evident that the said policy has been passed in haste without carrying out studies/ research in relation to the work schedule of professionals,” Khosla said. He adcded that “lawyers are entitled to be exempted from the application of the odd-even scheme as the lawyers assist the courts in guarding the personal liberty and civil rights of citizens…”

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It said that data on air pollution during the first phase of odd-even scheme in January should have been analysed by a government-appointed agency before starting the second phase.

The plea asked the court to direct the government to form an expert committee to frame a policy after inviting suggestions from the public, including the associations of various professional bodies.

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