The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has called out German car manufacturer Volkswagen for not paying Rs 100 crore fine order which was passed in 2018. The fine was slapped on them for adding to the air pollution in Delhi which was caused due to the excess nitrogen oxide emissions from their cars.
NGT has directed the auto company to pay the fine by 5 pm on January 18 or the directors of the company will be arrested and the company's properties will be seized, reports NDTV.
The car manufacturing giant will have to pay the fine to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)
The court bench headed by chairperson Adarsh Kumar Goel questioned why Volkswagen hadn't paid the fine yet and also directed the company to submit an undertaking that it would pay the fine by 5 pm.
"Why have you not complied with our order when there is no stay? We will not give you any further time," the bench, also comprising of Justice SP Wangdi, was quoted as saying by New Indian Express.
"Estimated cost of health damage due to additional NOx emissions from the Volkswagen group vehicles is approximately Rs 171.34 crore using a metro city i.e Delhi as a base. The value may be considered conservative due to lack of methodologies for calculating the overall impact of nitrogen oxide on the environment in India and hence only health damages are valued."
"Further the valuation is for Delhi city considering that the value of NOx is 435 tonnes is released in the city. This is assumed because of lack of data on the geographical locations and plying regions of Volkswagen vehicles which have caused the damage and for all the years which have been considered for damage," a report made by a four-person bench of the NGT read, according to PTI.
The NGT, on November 16, had ordered Volkswagen to pay Rs 100 crore citing that their cars were using a 'cheat device' in their diesel cars.
A 'cheat device', also known as a 'defeat device', is a software installed in diesel cars to alter the emission reading by changing the performance.
This is not the first time that Volkswagen has come under the radar of NGT. In 2015, Volkswagen India had to recall at least 3 lakh cars fitted with EA 189 diesel engines after a test conducted by Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) revealed that the cars violated the emission norms.
However, the company had said that the recalling of the cars was voluntary since their cars passed the emission test in the US.