Informs Court that Sikh women have objection to wearing it

Citing objections by Sikh women, the Delhi Government on Monday informed the Delhi High Court that it is in favour of continuation of exemption from wearing helmets for women two-wheeler riders in the Capital.

The Delhi Government gave this information to the Court in an affidavit filed by Rajesh Sakkarwal, Deputy Commissioner (Operations) of the Delhi Government Transport Department, in reply to a contempt of court petition filed by Ulhas PR, a social film-maker.

The affidavit said that at a meeting in the Delhi Chief Secretary’s office to discuss making helmets compulsory for women as directed by the Court, it was found that Sikh women had objection to it.

The Transport Minister, in consultation with the officials concerned, was of the opinion that the exemption should continue but at the same time women should be educated on the safety aspect of wearing helmets, the affidavit said, adding that the exemption to women was given after due consideration by the Government in view of the sensitivity of the matter.

The affidavit urged the Court to dismiss the contempt petition. The matter will now come up for hearing on May 16.

In the contempt petition, the petitioner has sought initiation of contempt proceedings against the Delhi Chief Secretary for allegedly failing to comply with the Court order asking the Government to consider changes in the Motor Vehicle Rules to make wearing of helmets compulsory for women.

The Court had passed the order in April last year on a public interest litigation by Ulhas PR seeking a direction to the Government to make helmet wearing mandatory for women.

The petitioner had later filed the contempt petition on expiry of the two-month time for implementation of the Court direction.

In reply to the contempt petition, the Government had earlier informed the Court that it would re-examine the issue. However, now it has taken a U-turn.

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