The Madras High Court recently closed a writ petition which sought registration of criminal case against Health Minister of Tamil Nadu after he gave an undertaking before the court that, in future, he would not drive a two wheeler without wearing helmet.
'Traffic' Dr.K.R.Ramaswamy had approached the Madurai Bench of the High Court seeking a direction to the police to register criminal cases against two MLAs viz. V.V.Rajan Chellappa and C.Vijaya Baskar. Vijay Basker is currently the Minister for Health and Family Welfare. Allegation against the Minister was that he rode a scooter without helmet. The other legislator was accused of indecent behaviour inside the cinema theatre on account of the screening of a particular movie.
As regards allegations against the MLA, the bench observed that direction could not be issued to police since no complaint was not preferred by the owner of the theatre. However, the court observed that the materials produced before it clearly showed that the Minister drove the scooter without wearing a helmet.
"He is a public servant. He is a Minister in the State Cabinet, holding the position of the Minister for Health and Family Welfare. The Minister should be a role model for others", the bench comprising Justices K.K.Sasidharan and P.D.Audikesavalu said calling for explanation from the minister.
In response, the minister filed an affidavit stating that he had drove the vehicle in an emergent situation, as the people of the said District were suffering on account of the out-break of dengue.
His affidavit reads: "I respectfully state that, as a doctor and a responsible minister, I have also conducted myself in accordance with law as a model citizen always. However as the necessity to immediately attend to the medical emergency in the villages, I had to travel by two wheeler left with no other option. The said incident is an isolated one and was warranted due to the acute need in public interest. As I had to visit and inspect water stagnated areas and to instruct the officials for redressal of the grievance of the public. I have always worn a helmet while travelling by two wheelers. I had not intentions to violate the law at any point of time. I have always been a law abiding citizen and I also undertake to this Court that I would continue to obey the laws and would wear a helmet in case I had to commute by a two wheeler in future."
Accepting the explanation given, the bench closed the writ petition. The court noticed that the minister himself has given an undertaking that henceforth he would drive the vehicle with a helmet and there would not be any occasion to make comments against him, on account of the failure to wear helmet.
The bench said: "We hope and trust that the Minister henceforth would not repeat such acts."