HC to decide on purchase of low-floor buses for Delhi: SC

HC to decide on purchase of low-floor buses for Delhi: SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today left it for the Delhi High Court to decide on the issue of procurement of low-floor buses for strengthening public transportation in the city.

A bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta refused to entertain a plea in this regard, saying that the issue was already pending before the high court.

The counsel appearing for the intervenor told the bench that 10,000 low-floor buses were required to be procured by the Delhi government and these vehicles should be disabled- friendly.

The counsel said that the Delhi government had claimed in the high court that the bus manufacturers, Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland, were quoting exorbitant rates for low-floor buses, but both these domestic companies have denied the claims of the government before the court.

“Both Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland have said that they are willing to provide low-floor buses,” the lawyer said, adding that tender was needed to be issued by the Delhi government for the procurement of these buses.

However, the bench said it had not said anything earlier about the procurement of the low-floor buses in Delhi and the applicant should argue the matter before the high court.

“We are not inclined to entertain this issue,” the bench said.

Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland had recently refuted in the high court the Delhi government’s claim that they were quoting “unrealistic and unreasonable” rates for the low-floor buses and had said that the government has not floated any tender for procurement of these vehicles since 2014.

The high court had asked these two companies to file an affidavit explaining the factual position with regard to the supply of buses in the past.

The high court had also sought to know from the Delhi government the reason for not floating any tender to procure the low-floor buses since 2014.

The high court, which has fixed the matter for hearing on February 7, is hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a person suffering from locomotor disability challenging the Delhi government’s move to procure 2,000 standard floor buses at a cost of Rs 300 crore.