Kerala

Implement helmet rule for pillion riders: HC

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Division Bench asks govt. to advertise circular

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the State government to implement the provision in the new Motor Vehicle(Amendment)Act making it mandatory for every person above 4 years, including the pillion riders to wear helmets while travelling on two-wheelers.

The Bench also directed the State government to issue a notification for implementing the provision as expeditiously as possible.

The court also directed the State government to publish the circular so issued in various newspapers, TV channels and other places to create awareness about the provision among the riders.

The court passed the directives while disposing of an appeal filed by the State government against a single judge’s order staying rule 347A of the Kerala Motor Vehicle Rules which exempted the pillion riders from wearing helmets..

2015 order

The single judge while staying the rule in 2015 had pointed out that the rule was in direct conflict with section 129 of the Motor Vehicle Act which stipulated that every person driving or riding a motor vehicle should wear a protective headgear.

Besides, the single judge also had noted that the exemption made mention in the second proviso to Section 129 of the Act concerned sick persons or persons belonging to Sikh community. The single judge's order came on a petition filed by T.U. Ravindran of Kochi challenging the government’s exemption rule.

Govt. plea

The government had argued in the appeal that the the single judge had failed to consider certain vital aspect of the case. The government had not been given an opportunity for being heard.

In fact, the exemption provision had been inserted under the power given to the state government under Section 129 of the Motor Vehicle Act.

Opposing the appeal, Joseph Rony Jose, counsel for the petitioner contended that the State government had no power to issue such an order. It was against the every provisions of the Act. In fact, a Full Bench had upheld the validity of Section 129 and directed the State government to implement the section scrupulously.

When the appeal came up for hearing, Special Government Pleader P. Santhosh Kumar submitted that the new Motor Vehicle(Amendment)Act had brought several amendments to various section of the Act, including section 129 of the Act.

New norms

As per the new Section 129, every person above four years who travels on or rides two-wheelers should wear a protective headgear. The amendment had come into force from August 9, 2019.

He also submitted that the government was now in the process of issuing a notification in terms of the new amendment.

The Bench had earlier observed that the state government had no the power to make any exemption as provided earlier under Section 129 of the 1998 Motor Vehicle Act, in the light of the new amendment Act.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 1:59:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/implement-helmet-rule-for-pillion-riders-hc/article30018203.ece

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