9 Feb 2023 1:26 PM GMT
The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Delhi Government to ensure strict compliance of Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 and subsequent amendments made in the enactment. A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad also called for strict compliance of a standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on December 17,...
The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Delhi Government to ensure strict compliance of Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 and subsequent amendments made in the enactment.
A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad also called for strict compliance of a standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on December 17, 2018, in respect of validation of driving license, registration certificates and other transport related documents in electronic form.
Noting that challans are being issued and fines are paid through electronic mode only, the court said that “Delhi Model” in respect of recovery of fines is also being adopted by other States in the country.
“So far as the State of Delhi is concerned, as reflected from the reply, the use of Information Technology has been incorporated, in order to ensure that a citizen is not harassed in the matter of payment of fine and time is not wasted in the same,” the court said.
The court disposed of a public interest litigation filed by Sonali Karwasra for upgrading the technology in respect of monitoring traffic violations. It was her case that the equipment used to detect violation of traffic lights are sub-standard and are not based on updated technology, resulting in erroneous imposition of fines on common man.
The bench noted that high speed cameras, closed-circuit television cameras, speed guns and body wearable cameras have been introduced to bring transparency in imposition of challans vide amendment in the Motor Vehicle Act.
The amendment introduced section 136A to the Act mandating the State Government to ensure electronic monitoring and enforcement of road safety on highways or in any urban city. It also states that the Central Government shall make rules for such electronic monitoring and enforcement, including speed cameras, closed-circuit television cameras, speed guns, body wearable cameras etc.
Noting that the 2018 makes it clear that in case a person has certificates in a digital form, the same will be accepted by authorities, the bench said:
“A very exhaustive SOP is in place and the same has been framed so that the citizens do not face any difficulty in case they have their relevant documents in digital form.”
The court also took note of the short affidavit filed by Central Government stating that various amendments have been introduced to ensure that drivers are not required to carry original documents and that they are accepted in digital form by authorities.
It further noted that according to the reply, Delhi Government is strictly adhering to all statutory provisions and the 2018 SOP.
“The notification dated 11.08.2021 issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has also been issued for electronic monitoring and enforcement of road safety. The Delhi Government is strictly adhering to the same,” the court said.
The court further said that most of the petitioner’s grievances are genuine which relate to issuance of safety challans, safety of public at large and genuine difficulties “which are being faced by the citizens” regarding the manner of implementation of the Motor Vehicle Act.
“However, the GNCTD shall ensure strict compliance of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 and subsequent amendments along with the aforesaid SOP issued on 17.12.2018. In light of the aforesaid, the PIL stands disposed of,” the court said.
Title: SONALI KARWASRA v. UNION OF INDIA AND ORS.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 136
Click Here To Read Order