Persons with disability, who were struggling to obtain registration of their retrofitted vehicles can heave a sigh of relief with Government Order (2D) No. 6 of the Home (Transport Department) approving two types of retrofitment kits for three types of vehicles.

The Transport Department, till June 2008, had entertained requests for vehicle registration from persons with disability on humanitarian grounds. Section 52 of the Motor Vehicles Act /Rules, amended in 2000, imposed ban on registration of altered vehicles.

However, under Section 52 (1), the government was empowered to grant exemption. But, the retrofitted vehicles were treated as invalid carriages, thus denying third-party insurance cover or claims when accidents occurred.

Any automobile prototype is inspected and certified by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) - Pune for its safety standards and road worthiness. The problem of third-party insurance cover and claims and the risk of alterations not being in conformity with the prototype resulted in the Union Ministry of Surface Transport in its order dated July 23, 2008 calling for certification of retro fitment by an authorised agency.

This became a stumbling block, since many of the States did not have authorised agencies certified by ARAI - Pune. As a result, the registration of retrofitted vehicles came to a halt. However, based on representations the Ministry issued a circular on September 16, 2009 stating that vehicles purchased and retrofitted prior to the Ministry's earlier resolution dated July 23, 2008 could be registered. Thereafter, persons with disability were not in a position to get retrofitted vehicles registered.

Now, the government in its latest order has stated that two types of ARAI-certified retro fitment kits for two scooterettes and one motorcycle from TVS Motors can be registered by registering and licensing authorities across the State. These kits have been inspected by the Transport Department officials, who are convinced on the certification.

The order said that 103 dealers of TVS Motors could do the retrofitting while selling the vehicle. These vehicles are exempt 100 per cent from payment of tax.

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