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"No Clarity On Uniform Color, Specifications": Delhi HC Issues Notice On Plea Challenging Issuance Of Challans To Drivers In Non Compliance Of Uniform Regulations

Nupur Thapliyal
22 July 2021 4:24 PM GMT
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The Delhi High Court has issued notice on a plea challenging Rule 7 of the Delhi Motor Vehicle Rules, 1993 on the ground that drivers of auto rikshas and taxis are issued Challans heavily to the extent of Rs. 20,000 due to non compliance of uniform regulations.

The plea, moved by Trade Union of Drivers and individual autoriksha and taxi drivers, states that there is no clarity on uniform color or specifications. According to the plea, it has been averred that the impugned Rule prescribes uniform colour to be Khaki while, in contrast, permit conditions lay down Grey uniform.

A division judge bench comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh sought response of the Delhi government, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and Delhi Police. The notice is returnable on August 20. The petition has been filed through Advocate Mohini Chaubey.

Stating that the specifications of fabrics, trims and accessories are totally missing in the Rule, the plea states:

"The word Uniform itself has not been defined whether it is pant-shirt, safari-suit or kurta-pajama."

The plea states that the Delhi Government has attached permit conditions to the permits issued under sec. 74 of Motor Vehicles Act, providing that driver shall wear the uniform in Grey colour as prescribed by the State Transport Authority (STA), Delhi and shall also display the Public Service Vehicle Badge on uniform on his/her left side of the chest.

In view of this, the plea states that there is a contradiction between the permit conditions and the rules for the reason that while the permit conditions stipulate GREY uniform, the rules prescribe the colour to be KHAKI.

"Colours prescribed by both rules and permit conditions are vague. Both khaki and grey come in hundreds of shades. Grey is a mix of 1% white and 99% black, or vice versa, or in any other proportion in between. That effectively means that the colour Grey has 100s of possible shades. Same is true of the colour Khaki." The plea states.

Stating that the uniform is a symbol of dignity, authority, the plea states thus:

"A driver usually works 28-29 days in a month, and has to visit several places in private capacity to run errands while still straightjacketed in his uniform and carrying it as a seal of his social and financial status. He is judged, mistreated or exploited, all for his profession, thus violating his fundamental rights under Articles 14, 19(1)(g) and 21 of the Constitution. Moreover, uniform benefits the passengers in no way."

The plea seeks the following prayers:

- Strike down Rule 7 of Delhi Motor Vehicles Rules, 1993.

- Strike down permit conditions as notified vide S.O. 415(E) dated 8-6-1989 issued under section 88(11)(ii) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

- Quash any condition of any permit issued by respondent no. 1 in relation of uniform required to be worn by the drivers of transport vehicles.

Title: Chaalak Shakti & Ors. v. GNCTD & Ors.

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