Impound vehicles with curtains, sunglasses also: DB

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Aug 27: Taking seriously the growing use of curtains and sunshades on the vehicles following Supreme Court’s ban on tinted films, the Division Bench of State High Court comprising Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar today issued directions for impounding of such vehicles also on the ground that such kind of material also hinders the view inside the vehicles.
As soon as the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Dr Davinder Singh Jasrotia was taken up for hearing, Senior Additional Advocate General, Gagan Basotra along with Deputy Advocate General Inderjeet Gupta submitted before the Division Bench that Inspector General of Traffic Police, Munir Ahmad Khan and Director State Motor Garages, G A Sofi have filed latest status report indicating the compliance to the directions of the Supreme Court of India.
On the other hand, Advocates R P Sharma and Vijay Gupta submitted applications for release of the vehicles impounded by the Traffic Police from August 20 onwards, which was the last date for voluntary compliance to the Supreme Court’s directions on the use of tinted films and other material by vehicle operators.
Objecting to the release of impounded vehicles, Advocate Rohit Kapoor appearing for the PIL said, “if the laxity in enforcement of directions by the Directors General Police of respective States is a contempt as per the Supreme Court’s directions why not non-adherence to the directions by the offenders should not be considered as contempt”, adding “contempt proceedings should be initiated against them”.
“Imposing penalty on the impounded vehicles doesn’t absolve their owners of the contempt proceedings”, Advocate Kapoor argued further.
While submitting a photograph for the consideration of the Division Bench, Advocate Kapoor said, “Member Legislative Council of ruling party is using curtains in place of tinted films”, adding “he seems to be considering himself as Henry XIII as he is also using red light on his vehicle despite not being entitled for the same”.
He pointed out that in the notices appeared in different newspapers following the previous directions of the Division Bench, the IGP Traffic has not mentioned that use of any material, which hinders the view inside the vehicle, also comes under the purview of the Supreme Court’s directions.
Advocate Vijay Gupta appearing for a transporter, whose bus has also been impounded by the Traffic Police for using tinted glasses, prayed before the Division Bench for release of vehicle on the ground that the glasses on the vehicle were originally manufactured tinted and the same doesn’t come under the ambit of the Supreme Court’s directions.
However, Advocate Rohit Kapoor, while countering arguments of counsel for the transporter, said, “the buses, trucks and mini-buses come in chassis and their bodies are fabricated later so the question of originally manufactured tinted glasses doesn’t arise”.
After hearing counsels of all the parties, the Division Bench said, “the use of curtains and sunshades do come under the ambit of Supreme Court directions. The Traffic Police should impound such vehicles also as the status report filed by IGP Traffic itself mentions that use of curtains is gaining popularity day by day”.
While declining to grant release of the impounded vehicles, Division Bench issued notices to counsel for the PIL and State to file objections on the applications moved by the transporter and owners of impounded vehicles”.
In the latest compliance report submitted by the IGP Traffic, it has been mentioned that till July 27, 2012, 8433 vehicles were challaned for the use of tinted glasses, black films and other allied materials by the Traffic Police and with effect from July 28, 2012 till August 22, 2012, 13943 more violators including Government vehicles were challaned.
The Traffic Police Unit, Jammu made 2698 challans, 3204 by Traffic Rural Jammu, 920 by Traffic NHW Ramban, 1656 by Traffic City Srinagar and 1855 by Traffic Rural Kashmir. Similarly, tinted films were removed from 2684 vehicles by Traffic City Jammu unit, from 3204 vehicles by Traffic Rural Jammu, from 920 vehicles by Traffic NHW Ramban, from 1656 vehicles by Traffic City Srinagar and from 1855 vehicles by Traffic Rural Kashmir.
Moreover, 19 vehicles were impounded after August 20, 2012 by Traffic City Jammu Unit, 13 by Traffic Rural Jammu, 4 by Traffic NHW Ramban, 7 by Traffic City Srinagar and 37 by Traffic Rural Kashmir.
In the compliance report submitted by the Director State Motor Garages, it has been stated that Administrative Secretaries and Deputy Commissioners have been requested to direct their subordinate officers to ensure that the tinted glass films or any other material are removed.
“They have also been requested to cooperate with the teams of State Motor Garages at Jammu and Srinagar headed by respective Deputy Directors, who have already been directed to remove the tinted/ black films from the Government vehicles including the vehicles being used by Administrative Secretaries and Deputy Commissioners”, the report said.

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