New Delhi: Activists of the Congress’ youth wing staged a demonstration near the residence of Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday against the “steep” hike in penalties under the amended Motor Vehicles Act (MVA). Indian Youth Congress (IYC) President Srinivas BV said they tried to gift two old motorcycles and scooters to Gadkari to make him realise how people were being forced to pay the fine that is higher than the value of their old vehicles.
The protesters trying to head towards Gadkari’s residence at Moti Lal Nehru Road here, but were stopped at a police barricade. Not able to gift the two-wheelers to the Union minister, the IYC protesters handed over the vehicles to Delhi Police personnel. “We asked them to give it to the minister,” IYC media in-charge Amrish Ranjan Pandey said.
Srinivas termed the hike in fines under the amended Act an “unrealistic move” that, he alleged, came without any preparation. “This move is like the demonetisation, that was forced on people. There was no preparation and it was imposed on people without any awareness about it,” he said, adding the fine amount should be reduced.
About the amended Act stating that the owner or driver of a vehicle has to produce documents— licence or certificate of registration etc — to the authority on demand, Pandey said that the details of vehicle owners are available on police website which can be accessed by using the registration number of any vehicle. But the police should ensure that details of an individual do not land in the hands of “unscrupulous” persons, he said.
The latest amendment in the MVA is similar to the bill for MVA that was proposed in 2017. Since it was introduced this year, “2019” was added to the name of the Act. The previous bill had lapsed at the end of the last session of the 16th Lok Sabha. The bill was re-introduced in the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha by Gadkari, which was then passed by both the Houses of Parliament before the end of the session.
As per the official notification issued by the central government on 28 August, the 63 clauses of the MVA are to be implemented 1 September onwards as these clauses do not need any further modifications in the Central Motor Vehicles rules, 1989. These include higher penalties for various traffic offences, national transportation policy among others.