The Karnataka transport department’s prohibition of pillion seats on motorcycles with engine capacity less than 100 cc was on Friday stayed by the Karnataka High Court following pleas by motorcycle manufacturers.
Justice B V Nagarathna stayed an October 13 order by the Karnataka government following pleas by TVS Motor Company Ltd and Hero Motorcorp.
The transport department, following a prod from the court, issued the notification last month to implement a clause in the Karnataka Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, which bans pillion seats on vehicles with engine capacity of 100 cc or below.
The transport department notification emphasised that it would no longer offer a waiver of Section 143 (3) of the Karnataka Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, which states: “No pillion seat shall be attached to motorcycle with less than 100 cc engine”.
The move to implement the 1989 rules in their entirety came after the high court questioned the failure of the state in implementing the rules codified in the course of an insurance case where a child riding pillion on a 100 cc motorcycle died after an accident in Mysore.
Despite the existence of the rule for over two decades, it proved useless on the ground as the government allowed small motorcycles to be used with pillion seats by providing special approvals during registration of the vehicles.
The high court on Friday stayed the ban on pillion seats until further orders.