At the most, your registration certificate could be suspended

Did the Bangalore traffic police go overboard to enforce the Supreme Court-imposed ban on sun control film on vehicles? How many people got the film removed from their vehicles following traffic police “threat” to cancel their driving licences?

Nagesh Shigvani, human resources manager with a multinational company, said he got the sun control film peeled off because he feared his driving licence would be cancelled.

“I came to know through the media that fines will be imposed at first two instances and driving licence will be cancelled during the third violation. I did not want to take any chance and got the film removed though the consequences [bother me],” Mr. Shigvani told The Hindu.

‘Only recommendation'

Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) M. Abdulla Saleem told The Hindu that his department did not issue any “threat” to cancel the licence. “We can only recommend to the licensing authority (RTO) to cancel the driving licence for repeated offences,” he said.

When his attention was drawn to the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act and rules dealing with safety glasses which do not prescribe cancellation of driving licence for the violation, Mr. Saleem said the traffic police can exercise wide powers under the Act and rules. He quoted Sections 20 to 23 of the Act, which authorise courts to suspend licences.

These sections, however, deal with drivers convicted for offences punishable under the Act whereas offence under Rule 100 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules (violating prescribed limits of visual light transmission) is a compoundable offence after collection of fine. Violation of this rule does not attract cancellation of driving licence, legal experts and transport department officials said.

Denying that the police jumped the gun in forcing the removal of sun control film, Mr. Saleem said the Supreme Court had specifically directed the police to enforce the judgment by issuing challans and getting the film removed. “We are only following the Supreme Court order,” he said.

A different gear

Meanwhile, State Transport and Road Safety Commissioner T. Sham Bhat told The Hindu that violation of Rule 100 does not attract cancellation of driving licence. “If a vehicle is involved in repeated violation of the rule (non-removal of sun film), its registration certificate could be suspended under Section 53,” Mr. Bhat said.

However, the department cannot unilaterally suspend the registration certificate as it has to first issue a notice to the owner.

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