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NGT notice to Centre, Maruti on plea seeking refund of subsidy

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A plea seeking refund of incentives given to vehicles of Maruti (MSI) Ltd under the FAME scheme prompted the today to seek responses from the Centre and the carmaker.

A bench headed by Justice issued notices to the Ministry of Heavy Industries, Ministry of and Forests, and Maruti Limited while seeking their replies before February 21.

The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Ashwini Kumar seeking directions to the carmaker to deposit Rs 95 crore along with interest received during sale of its vehicles 'Ciaz and Ertiga' with the Ministry of Heavy Industries.

The petition, filed through Sumeer Sodhi, alleged that the vehicles manufactured by Maruti claiming to be vehicles were "in fact not anywhere close to being such hybrid vehicles and the subsidies received were totally wrong, mala fide and illegal".

It claimed that the Maruti Ciaz SHVS and Ertiga SHVS models was not a hybrid or vehicle and the only change in the engine was an integration of the starter motor and the generator motor termed as Integrated Starter Generator motor.

Kumar said the government till February 15 last year had disbursed an amount of nearly Rs 150 crore to various companies under the scheme and out of the this Maruti Suzuki India Ltd alone received Rs 95.61 crore as

The plea said that while the applicant was trying to receive information with regard to the certification of these vehicles which qualified as 'mild hybrid vehicles', the government excluded the 'mild hybrid' technology from all subsidies and benefits extended under the FAME-India scheme.

"The only plausible explanation for the sudden withdrawal of to the cars manufactured by the Respondent No.3 (Maruti) appears to be the RTI applications by the applicant trying to seek information of the certification of the vehicles produced by Maruti categorised as 'Mild Hybrid Vehicles.'

"As soon as the government realised that the information asked for by the applicant would disclose the ex-facie illegal grant of subsidy, the government chose to withdraw the subsidy," the plea contended.

"Pass an order regarding utilisation of the subsidy fund in an effective manner for prevention of pollution and implementation of environmental laws," the plea said.

A mild has an electric motor, which on its own cannot run a vehicle but assists normal engine by using stored in a battery and helps save fuel.

MSI's Ertiga and Ciaz, equipped with Smart by Suzuki (SHVS) technology, had received incentives of Rs 13,000 for each car under the scheme.

is part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan. It is being administered by the Heavy Industries Ministry.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, February 09 2018. 19:06 IST