Speed governors in vehicles; SC summons states’ Transport Secy

NEW DELHI, Jan 16: Taking a strong note of non- filing of status reports by several states, the Supreme Court today asked their Transport Secretaries to appear in person with records relating to installation of speed governors in public transport vehicles.

“You (states) cannot be allowed to be happy taking dates after dates… This is not a panchayat, proceedings in the Supreme Court cannot be taken lightly,” a bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud while hearing a PIL seeking installation of speed governors on public transport vehicles.

The bench, during the hearing, took the names of errant states which had not filed their reports and refused to grant further opportunity for it. It asked their Transport Secretaries to remain present with records on the day when it will hear the PIL next after four weeks.

States like Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Tripura, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh have not filed their replies.

“Why should we grant you (states) more time? We will call your Chief Secretaries then only you will understand,” the bench said, adding that states, which have put in appearance for the first time in the matter, will be given time to file their counter affidavits.

The Transport Secretaries of the states, which have been served with the notices but did not file the responses, will have to appear in person, the bench clarified.

“Some of you have been served (notice) long back. Why have you not filed your counter affidavits? Months have passed just like that,” it said and fixed the PIL filed by NGO ‘Suraksha Foundation’ after four weeks for final disposal.

The plea has sought a direction to these Governments to implement the rule on installation of speed governors in public transport vehicles to curb accidents by over-speeding.

The petition has sought striking down of the exemption granted to transport vehicles with seating capacity of eight passengers and all four-wheeled large goods vehicles above 1000 kgs and below 3500 kgs.

The exemption was granted in a notification of April 15 under Rule 118 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989.

The PIL has also sought separate guidelines for a selection criteria and tender process for the approval and appointment of authorised manufacturers of speed governors by respective state Governments. (PTI)