Delhi High Court today told the AAP government to ask the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to develop in 20 days an online software to address the problem of spurious CNG kits in the national capital.
Justice Manmohan told the government that if it was not able to ensure that the software is developed in 20 days, then it should consider a similar software made by an organisation of private CNG kit suppliers under the Digital India campaign.
"If you find their software is reliable and good, use it. Why are you trying to reinvent the whole wheel? Have an open mind. Let NIC examine their software package," the court said.
The order came after the court was told that the software being developed by NIC had several glitches, due to which it had crashed twice and would be fully functional after another month.
The court asked the government, "Why can't the glitches be removed? Why are you taking so much time? Why can't you use their software?"
The court was hearing a plea by a society representing certified CNG kit manufacturers and suppliers seeking setting aside of Delhi government's decision under which retrofitment of a kit in 'in-use' vehicles was endorsed only when the original vehicle manufacturer certified it to be genuine.
The Society for Alternate Fuel and Environment (SAFE) said its software was simple to use and it was willing to give it to the government.
To this, the court remarked the government would want its own agency, NIC, to develop the software as "governments were naturally suspicious and don't work like multinational corporations. Unfortunately, we have not reached that level of maturity".
Advocate Kapil Sankhla, appearing for SAFE, said its members were being affected by the government's decision as the delay in rolling out of the software was affecting their business.
Sankhla alleged that only two private players were
benefiting from the government's decision and one of them was an accused in the CNG kit scam.
The matter will now be heard on November 24.
The court had on an earlier date of hearing observed that the decision to prohibit the kit makers from carrying out their business was a "sledgehammer approach".
SAFE, in its plea, has challenged Delhi government's June 20 office order prohibiting motor licensing officers (MLOs) from endorsing CNG fuel in the vehicle registration certificates and the August 12 circular allowing retrofitment of CNG kits for endorsement on a certificate given by original vehicle manufacturer.
It has contended that the circular and order were illegal and contrary to the Central Motor Vehicles Act 1988 and its Rules as the Delhi government has delegated its statutory power to a private party - the original vehicle makers.
The association has claimed that as a result of the circular and office order, they are unable to retrofit kits in Delhi which was affecting their business.