Order barring use of old vehicles to ferry kids upheld

The High Court has upheld the new rules by the State government which bar use of vehicles older than 15 years as private cabs/vehicles to transport schoolchildren. 

Justice A N Venugopala Gowda dismissed the petition by T Damodar and observed, “The legislative intent attaching due significance to the public safety is evident from the object and reasons of the Motor Vehicles (MV) Act and the Rules. Regulation of motor vehicles is vested in the State/statutory authority and is a matter of paramount public safety. In these circumstances, I do not find this rule to be ultra vires of the MV Act.”

The petitioner, who owned a maxi cab registered in 1992, used the vehicle to ferry students of a private school.

Damodar and other cab owners had challenged Rule 6(2) of the Karnataka Motor Vehicles (conditions for vehicles engaged in transport of schoolchildren), 2012, saying it was a violation of the MV Act, 1988.

The State government had argued that it had the power to fix age limit for contract carriage vehicles when used for specific purposes and that the condition was introduced in the rule as per the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in 1997.

The guidelines said that plying vehicles older than 15 years was prohibited.

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