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Delhi High Court will hear a writ petition on 1st November filed by Shashwat Bhardwaj against Govt. of NCT Delhi praying that implementing a general policy and exempting  women of it is in strict violation of Article 14 which states that:

            “The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.”

This is the grundnorm for the Constitution of India, but allegedly Delhi Government has violated it by ordering implementation of the ‘odd & even’ scheme for November 4 to 15 and arbitrarily exempting women of it, thus denying equality on basis of gender. The petition calls the vehicle–rationing scheme for the sake of reducing pollution as “vague and impractical apart from being an utter blatant and wilful violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.”

The petition submits that by exempting merely women to drive irrespective of such rule will itself will be a counterblast to the relief that is sought by the Government as nowadays in every family the female member has a valid driving license and because of imposition of such rule and exemption to it, as the males will be tempted to let his sister/wife/mother to drive which will not suffice the main objective of reducing pollution which is sought by the Government.  It further states that a person, whose livelihood is dependent on the job which in its entirety is based on travelling, would suffer the most.

The petition alleges, “the said odd even scheme is being enforced only to gain a political mileage and no legal opinion was perhaps sought even from the law department of the Respondent before formulating the said scheme.”

Lastly, the petition requests the formation of a committee comprising bureaucrats, environmental experts and representatives of the bar so that all the factors are taken into consideration before implementing the scheme.

— India Legal Bureau

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