No plan to dilute Motor Vehicle Act and reduce road fines, says Delhi Transport Ministerhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/no-plan-to-dilute-mv-act-and-reduce-road-fines-says-delhi-transport-minister-5987212/

No plan to dilute Motor Vehicle Act and reduce road fines, says Delhi Transport Minister

The government will take a call on reducing the rates only when it is convinced that such a step is required, Gahlot told a press conference.

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Kailash Gahlot at Wednesday’s press conference

The Delhi government is “not mulling to dilute” penalties for offences under the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act 2019, as they are meant to ensure road safety, Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said Wednesday.

The government will take a call on reducing the rates only when it is convinced that such a step is required, Gahlot told a press conference.

However, he did not commit to any timeline by which the Delhi government plans to notify the compoundable offences under the Act to enable on-the-spot cash payment of challans. In the absence of such a notification, enforcement agencies are having to issue court challans for every type of offence.

The amended MV Act came into force on September 1. It is learnt that the Delhi Transport Department had recommended to the minister immediately after the law came into effect that Delhi should stick to the compoundable rates fixed by the Centre.

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Gahlot said that under the amended motor vehicle law, states have discretionary powers to revise the rates of 26 types of compoundable offences. Penalties have gone up in cases of 63 violations under the law.

Asked about the Gujarat government’s decision to slash penalties, Gahlot said the Delhi government has not yet gone through any notification in this regard so far.

“We are consulting the public, officials, stakeholders. This issue is essentially connected to road safety. We are taking feedback from all concerned. Though the state governments have certain discretionary powers to ease the penalties with respect to certain offences as per the new MV Act, as of now the Delhi government is not mulling to dilute them, since the stringent measures are meant to ensure road safety.

“We are closely observing the initiatives by other states as well as consulting with various stakeholders. At any stage, if the Delhi government is convinced to reduce the penalties for certain offences, we shall do the needful,” Gahlot said.

After the Act was implemented, sources in the Delhi government had indicated that it was open to revising the rates. It had pointed out that when the MV Act was last amended in the late 1980s, the city government had gradually, in several phases, made the transition to the new compoundable rates.

Section 200 of the amended MV Act empowers states to issue a gazette notification for compounding of certain offences, while also specifying the ranks of the officers empowered to challan various types of violations.