New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal on Thursday slapped a fine of Rs 500 crore on German auto major Volkswagen for damaging the environment through the use of “cheat device” in its diesel cars in India.
A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the carmaker to deposit the amount within two months. The green panel on November 16, 2018 had said use of ‘cheat device’ by Volkswagen in diesel cars in India led to the inference of environmental damage and had directed it to deposit an interim amount of Rs 100 crore with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
It had also constituted a joint team of representatives of the CPCB, Ministry of Heavy Industries, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, which had recommended Rs 171.34-crore fine on Volkswagen as ‘health damages’ for causing air pollution in Delhi due to excess nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. The tribunal was hearing pleas filed by Ailawadi, a school teacher, and a few others seeking ban on the sale of Volkswagen vehicles for alleged violation of emission norms. The company said it will challenge today’s order before the apex court, reiterating that its cars were compliant with the emission norms as defined in India.
“The Volkswagen Group in India reiterates that all cars from the group are compliant with the emission norms defined in India. The group awaits the copy of the order of the NGT. The Volkswagen Group will challenge the order of the NGT before the Supreme Court,” the automobile company said in a statement.