Though the Motor Vehicles Department is yet to get the Supreme Court order enforcing a ban on the use of black films for windscreens and side glasses of four-wheelers, motorists here are making a beeline for car accessories shops to remove the tint that is beyond the permissible limit.
Car accessories shops that were till recently raking in profit by selling the films in the range between Rs.1,200 and Rs.15,000 for a four-wheeler are now engaged in removing them as the apex court has directed the police to enforce the rule from Friday (May 4). Many motorists who had affixed the black films in violation of rules were voluntarily driving into car accessories shops and demanding the removal of sun control films from their vehicles.
“Rather than waiting for the last day, I decided to remove the black films affixed on the windscreens and side glasses of the car when I rolled out the vehicle from the showroom. I had to pay Rs.300 now to remove it and it took one hour to get the job done,” says a relieved C.R. Nair. Many motorists were upset by the apex court order and were of the view that more time should have been given to four-wheeler drivers to remove the tint.
“The sun control films can be removed only by an expert and hence more time should have been allotted. It is to be seen how the police are going to enforce the rule and whether they would use shrapnel to scrape them as done before when the rule was enforced in the wake of the terror attacks in the country following violence in Punjab and LTTE's presence in the South,” said the owner of a four-wheeler.
Confusion prevails among motorists whether sun control films that permit 70 per cent Visual Light Transmission (VLT) for safety glasses on the front and rear windscreen and 50 per cent VLT for side glasses can be used. Law enforcers say they can comment only after seeing the order of the three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice S. H. Kapadia.
Sources in the MVD said the use of the sun control films on four-wheelers would come to an end if the apex court had prohibited the use of black films of any VLT percentage or any other material upon the safety glasses, windscreens and side glasses. The court had granted liberty to police officers to grant exemption to VVIPs such as those who have ‘Z' and ‘Z plus' category security.
If the rule is implemented, the sun control films in cars of government officials and those used by police officers would have to be removed. At present, many vehicle manufacturers are providing light tinted rear windscreen and side glasses for four-wheelers. A top official of the MVD said they had been booking four-wheelers who were violating the provisions and using sun control films that do not offer the prescribed VLT.
The Supreme Court's order has come on a Public Interest Litigation filed by Avishek Goenka, who had complained that cars with black film on windowpanes were being increasingly used for crimes, including sexual assault of women.