10:57 GMT27 January 2020
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    India’s National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday slapped a fine of INR 5,000 million (approximately $72 million) on German car-maker Volkswagen for violating emission norms using cheat devices in its diesel vehicles.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — India's environmental watchdog NGT has found Volkswagen guilty of causing environmental damage and has asked the German car-maker to pay a fine within two months.

    The NGT was hearing a petition filed by a Delhi-based teacher, Saloni Ailawadi, after she discovered that her father was suffering from cancer. Her lawyer Sanjeev Ailawadi contended in court that diesel emission is among the known sources of cancer in humans and Volkswagen had been openly violating the prescribed norms in India.

    The global car-maker contended before the bench that prescribed norms under the BS-IV were not violated and that the test results were based on, "on road testings" for which there were no prescribed norms. However, the court dismissed the defendant's arguments.

    READ MORE: India's Environmental Body Slaps State Gov't With Penalty for Elephant Deaths

    "Sustainable development is the main guiding factor…we are unable to accept the manufacturer's objections to the report," the bench said against the claim of the carmaker.

    Volkswagen was found to have violated global emissions regulations in 2015 — in a scandal infamously dubbed "Dieselgate". The car manufacturer was found to have programmed its diesel engines with cheat devices to deceivingly lower their emissions reading to comply with counter-pollution regulations.

    In January this year, the same court i.e. NGT had asked the car maker to deposit $14 million as an interim payment for emissions violations in the country. A panel constituted by the court estimated that Volkswagen cars released around 48.678 tonnes of nitrogen oxide (N2O) gas in 2016. This study was based on 327,000 Volkswagen cars in which cheat software devises were detected.

    Volkswagen is also facing criminal and civil cases in the US and several other countries. In the US and Canada alone, Volkswagen has been fined $2.8 billion.


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