Carrying original licence by drivers or riders is nothing wrong: Madras HC

29 Aug 2017

The Madras High Court today observed that there was nothing wrong in people carrying their original licence while riding or driving vehicles after some petitioners opposed a government order in this regard. The First Bench, comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar, directed social activist 'Traffic' Ramaswamy, who raised the issue, to file a petition which would be heard in normal course. The matter relates to the announcement by State Transport Minister M R Vijayabhaskar that all vehicle drivers should carry their original driving licences with them from September 1 onwards, failing which they would be fined. Ramaswamy had made a mention yesterday before another Division Bench as there was no sitting of the First Bench. This morning, immediately after the court resumed, he mentioned before the First Bench the Government Order on the need for drivers to carry the original licence. The bench after asking what was wrong in carrying the original licence, directed Ramaswamy to file a petition which would be taken up for hearing. Meanwhile, another PIL was filed by K Aswin, state coordinator of Justice for Denials Association, seeking a direction to the Transport Secretary not to insist that drivers carry their original licence as it would cause inconvenience to the general public.  He submitted that "the Motor Vehicle Act says that the rider must possess licence, but does not say anything about the original licence." Alleging that the reason for direction to motorists to carry original licence was silly and unacceptable, he said it had no role in reducing road accidents. He submitted that if an individual lost his/her original licence, it would be very difficult to procure a new one as several procedures were involved. The petitioner contended that the announcement by the Minister would definitely force or lead to bribing of the authorities. He also stated that Section 28 of the Central Motor Vehicles Act gave powers to the state to make rules, but not supersede the central act. The petitioner said the association had already sent representations twice to the authorities requesting not to implement the announcement. As there was no reply, he filed the PIL. The court posted the petitions opposing the government order to a further date.(PTI)