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Licence Guidelines for driving schools: Changes likely as Delhi HC says provisions seem unfair

During a hearing on Monday, a bench of Justice Manmohan observed that the “definition” of “close relatives” by the Delhi government was “vague”.

Written by Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi | Published: September 2, 2015 3:10:12 am

The guidelines for granting licence to motor driving training schools are likely to be changed yet again, with the Delhi High Court stepping in to say that the provisions regarding infrastructure and financial solvency of the schools seemed “unfair”.

The guidelines, issued by the transport department on August 6, prescribe various criteria for granting licence to driving training schools, including a condition that “close relatives” of transport department officials cannot be a member or director of the school applying for licence. Further, the rules call for the applicant to have financial solvency of at least Rs 10 lakh. The rules also include provisions requiring the schools to have an office on the ground or first floor of a building.

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The guidelines have been challenged before the High Court by the All Delhi Motor Driving Training Schools Association on grounds that they violate the fundamental right to trade or occupation, as well as the right to equality of the companies running the schools.

During a hearing on Monday, a bench of Justice Manmohan observed that the “definition” of “close relatives” by the Delhi government was “vague”.

“How are you defining close relatives?” asked the bench. The court also raised objection to the criteria for financial solvency, observing that it would bar smaller driving schools, which cater to poorer sections of society.

The bench took note of the petitioner’s arguments regarding the requirement of minimum educational qualifications and the criteria that the school must operate from a ground floor or first floor office. “What is the rationale?” it asked.

The association, in its plea, had argued that the provision barring “close relatives of current transport department officials” violated the right to freedom of occupation under Article 19 as well as right to equality.

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