Concerned over rising instances of criminals using black films for windscreens and side glasses of four wheelers, the Supreme Court on Friday directed States and Union Territories to strictly enforce the ban on use of the tint beyond the permissible limit.

Manufacturers may produce the vehicles with tinted glasses which provide for 70 per cent Visual Light Transmission (VLT) for safety glasses on windscreen (front and rear) and 40 per cent VLT for side glasses, the apex court said.

Total ban

A three-judge bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, A.K. Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar gave the ruling while partly allowing a PIL filed by one Avisekh Goenka seeking total ban on all forms of tinted glasses used in four wheelers.

VLT percentage

“For the reasons afore-stated, we prohibit the use of black films of any VLT percentage or any other material upon the safety glasses, windscreens [front and rear] and side glasses of all vehicles throughout the country,” Justice Swatanter Kumar writing the judgement said.

Permissible limit

The apex court said it could not impose a total ban on use of tinted glass and interpreted rule 94 and 100 of the Motor Vehicle Act which forbids covering of the glass beyond the permissible limit. “In face of the language of the Rule, we cannot grant the petitioner the relief prayed for, that there should be 100 per cent VLT. This Court cannot issue directions that vehicles should have glasses with 100 per cent VLT.”

“Once such provision exists, this Court cannot issue directions contrary to the provision of law. Thus, we decline to grant this prayer to the petitioner,” the Bench said.

Granting exemption

Further, the court granted liberty to the police officers concerned to grant exemption to VVIPs like those enjoying “Z” and “Z plus” category security.

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