Observing that “illiterate” drivers are “virtually a menace” for pedestrians, the Rajasthan High Court has directed the state government to withdraw driving licences issued to those “unable to read and write”.
In an order dated May 24, a single-judge bench of Justice Sanjeev Prakash Sharma observed that “the Motor Vehicle Rules are required to be framed not only for the benefit of persons who seek licence but also taking into consideration the public who are using the roads”. The court said that illiterate people “would not be in a position to understand road signs and notices of caution written on boards for human safety on the highways as well as on the roads in the cities”.
The High Court was hearing a petition filed by Deepak Singh. His counsel D D Khandelwal said, “Deepak is unlettered and already has a Light Motor Vehicle licence since 2006. There is no minimum education criterion for obtaining an LMV licence. However, he also wanted a licence to drive transport vehicles but one needs to be at least Class VIII pass to obtain such a licence.”
Deepak told The Indian Express that he drives pick-up trucks for a living. He claimed that he has studied until Class V. “Nowadays, wherever you go, the employers want you to have a commercial driving licence first before they hire you. Hence, I had sought that licence but was denied and so I approached the High Court a couple of months ago,” he said.
In court, Khandelwal argued that Deepak already has 13 years of experience years and should be given a driving licence for transport vehicles. “However, the court took it otherwise and said that driving licence should not have been issued to illiterate people in the first place, and directed that licence of Deepak and all such persons be withdrawn,” Khandelwal said.
Dismissing the petition, the court directed “State Transport Authorities” to withdraw the licence issued to the Deepak Singh and “similar persons”. “The state transport authorities are directed to issue appropriate instructions in this regard laying down guidelines. Action should also be taken where licences have been issued to persons who are unable to read and write,” said the court.