HC bans e-rickshaws, calls them safety hazard

According to Police data, 29 people have been injured and two killed in accidents till June 30.

Written by Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi | Published:August 1, 2014 12:51 am
According to police data, 29 people have been injured and two killed in accidents involving e-rickshaws till June 30. (Source: IE photo by Ravi Kanojia) According to police data, 29 people have been injured and two killed in accidents involving e-rickshaws till June 30. (Source: IE photo by Ravi Kanojia)

The Delhi High Court on Thursday banned e-rickshaws from plying on city roads, observing that they were illegal under the present laws.
The court of Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul directed the municipal corporations, the Transport department and traffic police to “take steps to prevent the plying of e-rickshaws without fail”.

The government told the court that the present law does not regulate e-rickshaws and that there was no system under which these vehicles can be issued licences or registered.

According to Delhi Police data, 29 people have been injured and two killed in accidents involving e-rickshaws till June 30. Besides, 137 cases have been filed against e-rickshaw drivers for rash and negligent driving in the first six months of the year.

The court also took note of Wednesday’s incident, where a two-year-old boy fell into a pan of boiling oil after his mother was hit by an e-rickshaw. “These incidents will happen as long as the government is a silent spectator,” the court observed.

“We would like to express our view that unregulated plying of e-rickshaws… is a hazard to other traffic as well as citizens,” the court said.
During arguments, Delhi government counsel Zubeda Begum told the court that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways was considering amending the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 to take e-rickshaws with engine capacity less than 650 watts out of the ambit of the definition of a ‘motor vehicle’ and place the three-wheeler under the authority of local bodies.

The court said the amendment will “take too much time”. “You say they are illegal. Then you stop them till the law is amended,” the court said.

The orders were issued on a plea filed by social worker Shanawaz Khan, who had sought a ban on e-rickshaws on the ground that they were carrying more passengers than allowed and endangering their lives.

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  1. G
    Girish
    Aug 1, 2014 at 8:17 am
    how does amending the law make e-rickshaws safe?
    Reply
    1. J
      jesse banner
      Aug 1, 2014 at 3:01 pm
      HC g do u know how many people die of auto rickshaws, how many auto rickshaws are driven by non-licencees? how many auto rickshaws are rightfully owned by drivers? or they just borrowed on illegal contracts? how many auto rickshaws follow pollution norms? How many auto rickshaws go by meters when its mandatory? Do you even know how many auto rickshaws have legal requisite doents?
      Reply
      1. B
        Baba
        Aug 1, 2014 at 3:57 pm
        Safety lies in the driver's behaviour and in limiting the number of pengers. Instead banning the e-Rickshaws, drivers should be booked for carelessness.
        Reply
        1. C
          Citizen
          Aug 1, 2014 at 2:49 pm
          Why only e Rikshaws only; many other vehicles are also involved in accidents it is better to have all the statistics at one place before banning them on roads. They may be altered to make them safe. When e cars are running safely on many roads around the globe there is no reason; not to allow these things on road make them safe and allow them. Jaihind
          Reply
          1. N
            NoOneCares
            Aug 1, 2014 at 11:41 am
            Finally. A sliver of common sense in the sea of stupidity that is India. Thank you High Court, for coming up with this verdict. A motorised vehicle should require a license, period. Given that even a driving license in our country doesn't stand for much, this really is the bare minimum that is required.
            Reply
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