Asia & Australia

December 07, 2018

Drivers can show vehicle documents in electronic form when demanded by any official: Madras HC


Disposing of various petitions against a memorandum which stated that vehicle drivers should carry original documents including licence, the Madras High Court on December 5 followed the Union Government’s notification on the amendment in Rule 139 of Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 and ruled that drivers can show vehicle documents in electronic form when demanded by police or any other official.

As per the amended provision, a citizen can produce transport-related documents such as registration, insurance, fitness and permit, driving licence, certificate for pollution under check, and any other relevant documents, if required, in physical or electronic form on demand by any police officer in uniform or any other officer authorized by the State Government in this behalf.

During the hearing, Lorry Owners Association informed the bench of the notification on amendment to Rule 139 of Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989.

Considering this notification, a Division Bench of Justices Dr Vineet Kothari and Dr Anitha Sumanth said, "In view of the amendment brought by Union of India on November 2, the petitions have become infructuous."

Earlier, on August 24, 2017, All India Confederation of Goods Vehicle Owners Association was one among the petitioners who had challenged the memorandum issued by ADGP, State Traffic Planning Cell, stating that persons driving without licence will be prosecuted under Sections 130 and 171 of Motor Vehicle Act. The memorandum stated that all motor vehicle drivers shall carry the original documents, including the licence, while driving.

This memorandum was challenged in the High Court by K. R. Ramaswamy (referred to by the media as Traffic Ramaswamy, an Indian public interest litigator and social activist), Tamil Nadu Lorry Owners Association and Tipper Lorry Owners Association, and All India Confederation of Goods Vehicle Owners Association.

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