The State of Madhya Pradesh filed an appeal against an order passed by the National Green Tribunal, allowing Original Application filed by the Respondents and directing that motor vehicles not complying with the requirement of possessing a valid 'Pollution Under Control' (PUC) Certificate would suffer the consequence of suspension and/or revocation of the Registration Certificate of the vehicle, and would also not be provided with fuel by any dealer or petrol pump.
Scrutiny of Rule 116(8) and (9) of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 (Central Rules) makes it quite clear that the suspension of the certificate of registration is temporary. The suspension is until a certificate is produced before the Registering Authority certifying that the vehicle complies with sub Rules (2) and (7) of Rule 115 of the Central Rules. A Certificate of Registration is also to be deemed to have been suspended until a fresh Pollution under Control certificate is obtained.
It is well settled that, when a Statute or a Statutory Rules prescribed a penalty for any act or omission, no other penalty not contemplated in the Statute can be imposed. It is well settled that, when Statute requires a thing to be done in a particular manner, it is to be done only in that manner.
There can be no doubt that strong measures must be taken to protect the environment and improve the air quality whenever there is a contravention of statutory rules causing environmental pollution. Stringent action has to be taken but following the law. Stoppage of supply of fuel to vehicles not complying with the requirement to have and/or display a valid PUC Certificate is not contemplated either in the 1989 Rules or in the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 (NGT Act). Motor Vehicles not complying with the requirement of possessing and/or displaying a valid PUC Certificate cannot be debarred from being supplied fuel.
In passing blanket direction, directing the Appellant State Government to ensure that no dealer and/or outlet and/or petrol pump should supply fuel to vehicles without PUC Certificate, dehors the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, the learned Tribunal overlooked the fact that no vehicle can either be repaired to comply with pollution norms or tested for compliance with the political norms upon repair, without fuel.
Present Court is, therefore, constrained to hold that the learned Tribunal had no power and/or authority and/or jurisdiction to pass orders directing the Appellant State Government to issue orders, instructions or directions on dealers, outlets and petrol pumps not to supply fuel to vehicles without PUC Certificate. There is no provision in the NGT Act for the deposit of security to secure compliance of an order of the Tribunal. The penalty for failure to comply with an order of the Tribunal entails the penalty prescribed in Sections 26 and 28 of the NGT Act.
The learned Tribunal had no power and/or authority and/or jurisdiction to direct the appellant State to deposit Rs.25 crores to secure compliance with its order. In any case, such an order should not have been passed in review, when the initial order did not contain any direction for a security deposit. The appeals are thus allowed.
The State appellant shall, however, strictly implement compliance of Rules 115 and 116 of the Rules and penalize all those who contravene the said Rules following the provisions of the 1989 Rules. The Registration Certificate of vehicles which do not possess a valid PUC Certificate shall be forthwith suspended and cancelled, and penal measures initiated against the owner and the person(s) in the possession and control of the offending vehicle, following the law.
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