Kerala High Court Initiates Suo Moto Proceedings To Prevent Unauthorized Use Of National And State Emblems, Govt Boards On Motor Vehicles

Tellmy Jolly

10 July 2024 5:51 AM GMT

  • Kerala High Court Initiates Suo Moto Proceedings To Prevent Unauthorized Use Of National And State Emblems, Govt Boards On Motor Vehicles

    The Kerala High Court yesterday directed the Registry to initiate suo moto proceedings after obtaining orders from the Acting Chief Justice to consider the issue of unauthorized use of national and state emblems as well as government boards on vehicles.The Division Bench comprising Justice Anil K. Narendran and Justice Harisankar V. Menon ordered the suo moto case to be numbered as 'Writ...

    The Kerala High Court yesterday directed the Registry to initiate suo moto proceedings after obtaining orders from the Acting Chief Justice to consider the issue of unauthorized use of national and state emblems as well as government boards on vehicles.

    The Division Bench comprising Justice Anil K. Narendran and Justice Harisankar V. Menon ordered the suo moto case to be numbered as 'Writ Petition (Civil)' and to be listed before their bench on July 11, 2024.

    β€œ In such circumstances, we deem it appropriate to direct Registry to initiate a suo motu proceedings on the above aspect, after obtaining orders from the Honourable the Acting Chief Justice, which shall be numbered as 'Writ Petition (Civil)', and listed before this Bench dealing with suo motu case under the Motor Vehicles Act including PILs, on 11.07.2024, in which the Union of India represented by the Secretary (Road, Transport and Highways), Ministry of Road Transport and Highways; the Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure, Government of India, North Block, New Delhi-110 001; the State of Kerala, represented by the Chief Secretary to Government; the Secretary to Government, Transport Department; the Transport Commissioner, Kerala; and the State Police Chief, Kerala shall be arrayed as respondents.”

    The Court passed the above order after finding that despite its directions, the Enforcement Officers in the Motor Vehicles Department and the Police were unable to prevent use of motor vehicles with unauthorized name boards, flashlights etc.

    The Court stated that vehicles other than government vehicles fitted with name boards such as Kerala State, Government of Kerala, Government of India were even being parked on footpaths and obstructing the movement of pedestrians, disabled persons and children. It further observed that even vehicles owned by statutory bodies, societies registered under the Societies Registration Act, and non-governmental organizations unauthorizedly use national and state emblems. The Court stated that this violates Rule 92A of the Kerala Motor Vehicles Rules.

    Previously, the Court had directed Police and Enforcement Officers of the Motor Vehicles Department shall take action against persons who use unauthorized name boards and emblems on vehicles contrary to Rule 92 A of the Kerala Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.

    The bench observed that in Avishek Goenka v. Union of India (2012), it has been laid down that no motor vehicle including government vehicles were not permitted to use lights which are not specifically provided for in the Central Motor Vehicles Rules.

    Further, the Court took note of a particular vehicle that belonged to the Managing Director, Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited (KMML), Chavara that was openly seen flouting safety and light standards contrary to the Central Motor Vehicles. The Court noted that the particular vehicle was fitted with flashlight on top, flag and backlit name board showing a red light with a State Emblem in violation of the State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005 and the State Emblem of India (Regulation of Use) Rules, 2007, Rule 92A of the Kerala Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.

    Therefore, the Court directed the State Police Chief through District Police Chief, Kollam, to depute a Senior Police Officer to inspect the above-said vehicle owned by KMML Managing Director, Chavara in the presence of RTO (Enforcement) and take it into custody and to submit a report before the Court.

    Case Title: Suo Moto v State of Kerala

    Case Number: SSCR Nos.29, 30 & 36 of 2023

    Click here to read/download Order

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