A plea was filed by Advocate Shashwat Bharawaj in the Delhi High Court against the Delhi Government. The petition seeks quashing of the Odd-Even rationing scheme. The scheme is to be implemented in the national capital from November 4 to 15. This matter would be heard by a division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Harishankar on November 1. Bharadwaj has asked for directions to be given to the Delhi government to set up a committee involving bureaucrats to study the viability of the scheme.
In his petition, Bharadwaj has alleged that the scheme was being ‘‘enforced only to gain political mileage and no legal opinion was perhaps sought even from the law department of the state government before formulating it”. He contended that since women were exempted from the scheme, it denied equality before the law based on the ground of sex. Furthermore, he opined that the Odd-Even should be struck down as it “blatantly” violated the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution.
The plea read, "The State, that is, the sole respondent herein, in implementing the said scheme and enforcing it on the residents of Delhi is denying equality before law on the ground of sex and therefore the said scheme warrants it to be struck down by this court as it is clearly in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution."
For the last few years, the national capital has been grappling with smog every winter, raising health concerns. The Odd-Even scheme is the flagship programme of the Delhi government aimed at tackling this problem. It was first implemented in 2015. It entails cars with odd and even number plates to run on alternate days. For the second phase of the scheme, the Delhi government has recommended to the transport department to include two-wheelers partially within the ambit of the scheme as well. They will be able to ply on Delhi’s roads only from 8 am to 11 am and 5 pm to 8 pm. Furthermore, women-driven vehicles and those carrying kids in school uniforms would be exempted from the ambit of the scheme.