Police turn to IPC provisions to rein in battery rickshaws

April 22, 2014 12:00 am | Updated May 21, 2016 12:42 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

e-rickshaws do not fall under the ambit of Motor Vehicles Act

With their hands tied due to lack of a clear policy on e-rickshaws, the Delhi Police are now using provisions under the Indian Penal Code to crackdown on traffic violations by them. Currently, the battery-run rickshaws do not fall under the ambit of the Motor Vehicles Act.

Over a hundred e-rickshaw drivers from around the city have been booked for rash and negligent driving this year. A senior police officer said most of the drivers were found driving against the direction of the traffic, increasing the risk of head-on collision. He added that these vehicles also restrict the traffic flow besides endangering the safety of those who avail of their services.

“We started this drive of reining in e-rickshaws after receiving several complaints from commuters in busy areas. Because the provisions of the IPC empower the police to act against violations which are likely to cause injury to any person and take action accordingly, we are slapping Section 279 of the IPC on these violators,” said the officer.

Under Section 279 IPC, whoever drives any vehicle, or rides in public in a manner so rash or negligent as to endanger human life, or to be likely to cause hurt or injury to any other person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend up to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both. The vehicle is also impounded in most of these cases.

Since the traffic police do not have the mandate to register such cases, the drive to check e-rickshaws is being carried out in coordination with the local police.

All the cases have been registered with the police stations concerned and are under investigation.

The drive will continue because the process of policy formulation on e-rickshaws is still on.

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