New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the AAP-led Delhi government to provide data on pollution levels in the national capital from the date on which the odd-even scheme commenced till November 14.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta issued a notice to the Delhi government on a petition challenging the odd-even rationing scheme formulated by it. The scheme entails cars with odd and even number plates to run on alternate days in a bid to curb air pollution. The traffic rationing measure was initiated by the AAP-led Delhi government from 4-15 November.

The top court also asked the city government and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to provide data on the air quality index (AQI) from October 1 to December 31 of last year.

A petition filed by advocate Sanjiv Kumar submitted that the initiative takes sadistic pleasure in robbing the middle class of their right to earn a livelihood.

"This scheme takes sadistic pleasure in robbing the middle class of their right to drive to earn their livelihood by doing their jobs. It is nothing but a political gimmick for self-promotion and advertisement under the smokescreen of curbing pollution," the petition submitted.

The plea stated that the scheme impedes a persons' fundamental right to move freely in the country; discriminates on grounds of gender as women are exempted from it; and two-wheelers, which cause the maximum pollution, have been exempted from the scheme, while CNG vehicles are not.

The AAP-government had clarified earlier that the exemption of CNG vehicles would have caused congestion on the roads in a reply to a batch of petitions in the Delhi high court.

The city government also said that two-wheelers were exempted from the scheme as they constitute 66% of the total fleet in the national capital and if they were forced "off the road, it would have serious consequences on not just individual citizens but also on public transport".