Banning diesel vehicles doesn’t have scientific basis: Parrikar

Panaji, May 30 (IANS) Banning diesel cars is a “senseless direction” and bereft of scientific merit, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Monday.

Speaking at the inauguration of a state-of-the-art garbage treatment plant at Saligao plateau, located a short distance from Panaji, Parrikar also said that some judicial decisions astound him and alleged that an activist in Goa had once threatened a judge to seek a favourable judgement against him.

“It implies senseless directions which do not have a scientific base. People who do not understand science have begun to interpret science. This is our misfortune,” Parrikar said, while speaking about the ban on heavy-duty diesel cars in the national capital.

The Indian Institute of Technology-Mumbai alumnus also said that he had read a report which said that the makers of Mercedes Daimler Benz had stopped their investment of Euros 300 to 400 million in India, because the rulings in India were unusual.

“Ban a diesel vehicle which is polluting, we understand it. But what is the point in banning diesel vehicle which may not pollute and may even be less polluting than a petrol vehicle,” Parrikar said.

The Supreme Court in December last year banned the registration of diesel vehicles with a capacity of 2000cc on account of pollution.

Parrikar also recalled an instance when a judicial order following the death of a prison inmate due to food poisoning had resulted in him being booked under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code, when he was chief minister of Goa holding the home portfolio.

Calling such judicial orders “astounding”, the Defence Minister also said that the judge was intimidated by the petitioner in the specific case.

“Some judicial decisions astound me… one prison inmate died due to food poisoning. There is a famous litigant in Goa. He went to a particular judge and threatened the judicial officer, he (the judge) has a problem I am not going into it. As a result, the order was unusual and said that home minister should be booked under section 304,” Parrikar said.

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