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Report No. 234

5. Pending Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2007

5.1 The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2007 (Bill) was introduced in the Council of States on 15.05.2007 with the objective to, inter alia, enhance penalties, wherever considered necessary, for violation of the provisions of the MV Act with a view to ensure road safety and discipline, and provide for civil penalty in addition to the existing criminal liability.

5.2 Clause 9 of the Bill seeks to insert new sub-section (5) in section of the MV Act, which reads as under:

"(5) Where the authority authorized to check the driving licence of any driver, is satisfied after breath analyzer test or any other test as may be prescribed by the State Government that the driver is under the influence of alcohol, may suspend the driving licence on the spot for a period not exceeding three months."

5.3 Clause 26 of the Bill seeks to amend section 110 of the MV Act with a view to empower the Central Government to also make rules for design of the bodies for goods carriage and medium or heavy passenger vehicles and the material to be used for such bodies, cabin design on a bare chassis, the conditions for the purpose of licensing and regulating the establishments for fabrication of bus or truck bodies on bare chassis, the placement of audio-visual or radio or tape recorder type of device in the transport vehicle, seating arrangement in public service vehicles and the protection of passengers against the weather and any matter relating to construction equipment, maintenance of motor vehicles, trailers and fitness of all categories of motor vehicle; the entry relating to 'speed governors' is proposed to be substituted with 'specifications of speed governors'.

5.4 Clause 27 of the Bill seeks to amend section 111 of the MV Act with a view to empower State Governments to also make rules regarding installation of speed governors in transport vehicles and fog lights in motor vehicles.

5.5 Clause 28 of the Bill seeks to amend section 113 of the MV Act with a view to make the consignor or the common carrier, whosoever has 36issued the documents in possession of the person in charge of the motor vehicle, responsible for the overloading; where the goods carried belong to more than one consignor, the responsibility for the overloading shall rest with the common carrier who engaged the motor vehicle; the owner of the motor vehicle or the driver shall be responsible for the overloading, where the motor vehicle with overloaded goods is operating under the charge of such owner or the driver, as the case may be.

The expression "common carrier" is sought to be defined by inserting a new clause (4A) in section 2 of the MV Act, vide clause 2 of the Bill, as a person engaged in the business of collecting, storing, forwarding or distributing goods to be carried by goods carriages under goods receipt or transporting for hire, of goods from place to place, by motorized transport on road, for all persons indiscriminately and includes a goods booking company, contractor, agent, broker and courier agency, but excluding the Government.

5.6 Clause 37 of the Bill seeks to substitute new section for section of the MV Act and provides, inter alia, the definition of the expression "hit and run motor accident" in the context of payment of compensation, out of the Solatium Fund, in respect of death of, or grievous hurt to, persons resulting from hit and run motor accidents. The said expression means "an accident arising out of the use of a motor vehicle or motor vehicles the identity whereof cannot be ascertained inspite of reasonable efforts".

5.7 Clause 50 of the Bill seeks to substitute section 177 of the MV Act relating to general provision for punishment of offences, enhancing the quantum of fine for the first offence from the present maximum of Rs. 100/- to a fixed Rs. 500/- and for the subsequent offence from the present 37maximum of Rs. 300/- to Rs. 1,500/- subject to the minimum of Rs. 1,000/-.

5.8 Clause 51 of the Bill seeks to amend section 180 of the MV Act providing punishment for allowing unauthorized persons to drive motor vehicles, to enhance the quantum of fine from the present maximum of Rs. 1,000/- to Rs. 2,000/- subject to the minimum of Rs. 1,000/-.

5.9 Clause 52 of the Bill seeks to amend section 181 of the MV Act providing punishment for driving motor vehicles in contravention of section 3 (necessity for driving licence) or section 4 (age limit in connection with driving of motor vehicles), to enhance the quantum of fine from the present maximum of Rs. 500/- to Rs. 2,000/- subject to the minimum of Rs. 500/-.

5.10 Clause 53 of the Bill seeks to amend section 183 of the MV Act providing punishment for contravention of the speed limits referred to in section 112, to enhance the quanta of fines prescribed under sub-section (1) relating to driving at excessive speed and under sub-section (2) relating to causing an employee to drive at excessive speed.

Under subsection (1), the quantum of fine for the first offence is proposed to be enhanced from the present maximum of Rs. 400/- to a fixed Rs. 500/- and for the subsequent offence from the present maximum of Rs. 1,000/- to Rs. 5,000/- subject to the minimum of Rs. 2,000/-. Under sub-section (2), the quantum of fine for the first offence is proposed to be enhanced from the present maximum of Rs. 300/- to a fixed Rs. 500/- and for the subsequent offence from the present maximum of Rs. 500/- to Rs. 3,000/- subject to the minimum of Rs. 1,500/-.

5.11 Clause 54 of the Bill seeks to amend section 184 of the MV Act providing punishment for dangerous driving, to enhance the quantum of fine for the first offence from the present maximum of Rs. 1,000/- to a fixed Rs. 1,000/- and for the subsequent offence from the present maximum of Rs. 2,000/- to Rs. 5,000/- subject to the minimum of Rs. 2,000/-.

5.12 Clause 55 of the Bill seeks to amend section 185 of the MV Act providing punishment for driving by a drunken person or a person under the influence of drugs, to enhance the quantum of fine for the first offence from the present maximum of Rs. 2,000/- to a fixed Rs. 2,000/- and for the subsequent offence from the present maximum of Rs. 3,000/- to a fixed Rs. 3,000/-.

5.13 Clause 56 of the Bill seeks to amend section 186 of the MV Act providing punishment for driving when mentally or physically unfit to drive, to enhance the quantum of fine for the first offence from the present maximum of Rs. 200/- to a fixed Rs. 500/- and for the subsequent offence from the present maximum of Rs. 500/- to a fixed Rs. 1,000/-.

5.14 Clause 58 of the Bill proposes to insert new section 187A in the MV Act, which reads as under:

Section 187A. Liability of a person while driving a motor vehicle in certain cases.

"(1) Without prejudice to the provisions contained in the Indian Penal Code, 1860, whoever drives a motor vehicle in rash or negligent manner and causes injury to a person or damages any property shall be liable to penalty which may extend to five thousand rupees.

(2) The penalty realised under sub-section (1) shall be credited to the Solatium Fund established under section 161A in such manner as may be prescribed."

5.15 Clause 59 of the Bill seeks to amend section 192 of the MV Act providing punishment for using a motor vehicle without registration, to enhance the quantum of fine for the first offence from the present Rs. 5,000/- subject to the minimum of Rs. 2,000/- to Rs. 10,000/- subject to the minimum of Rs. 4,000/- and for the subsequent offence from the present Rs. 10,000/- subject to the minimum of Rs. 5,000/- to Rs. 20,000/- subject to the minimum of Rs. 10,000/-.

5.16 Clause 60 of the Bill seeks to amend section 192A of the MV Act providing punishment for using a motor vehicle without permit or in contravention of any of its conditions, to enhance the quantum of fine for the first offence from the present Rs. 5,000/- subject to the minimum of Rs. 2,000/- to Rs. 10,000/- subject to the minimum of Rs. 4,000/- and for the subsequent offence from the present Rs. 10,000/- subject to the minimum of Rs. 5,000/- to Rs. 20,000/- subject to the minimum of Rs. 10,000/-.

5.17 Clause 61 of the Bill seeks to substitute new section for section of the MV Act providing punishment for unauthorized interference with a motor vehicle, to enhance the quantum of fine from the present maximum of Rs. 100/- to Rs. 1,000/- subject to the minimum of Rs. 500/- for tampering with brake or any other part of the mechanism of a motor vehicle and to Rs. 2,500/- subject to the minimum of Rs. 1,000/- for tampering with emission control device fitted by the manufacturer.

5.18 Clause 62 of the Bill seeks to amend section 200 of the MV Act providing for composition of certain offences, to delete therefrom section providing punishment for driving a motor vehicle exceeding permissible weight, and to insert therein section 192A providing punishment for using a motor vehicle without permit or in violation of any of its conditions.

5.19 Clause 63 of the Bill proposes to insert new section 213A in the MV Act, which reads as under:

Section 213A. Notification of inspection auditors by State Governments. "(1) The State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, notify such experts in the field of road transport as it thinks fit for the purpose of carrying out audit of the authorized testing stations set up under sub-section (2) of section 56.

(2) The State Government may make rules to regulate the qualifications, powers and functions of experts notified under subsection (1)."

5.20 Significantly, the Bill proposes enhancement in the quanta of fines only and the terms of imprisonment wherever prescribed in the MV Act are not proposed to be increased. Deterrent effect is sought to be achieved through increases in the quanta of fines prescribed for various offences under the MV Act.



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