CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Thursday refused to grant an interim stay against impounding documents of motorists, who violate the mandatory helmet rule.
Much to the disappointment of the fully packed court hall, Justice N Kirubakaran refused to pass any order on the matter and adjourned the case to July 24.
On Thursday, when the case came up for hearing, the judge was bombarded with various pleas by advocates and social activists ranging from seeking more time to implement the rule to exempt certain persons from the rule.
Calling the rule a ‘blanket order’, RC Paul Kanagaraj, president, Madras High Court Advocates Association (MHAA) sought exemption to women, children and few other persons as per the provisions of the TN Motor Vehicle Rules.
Noting that those with psoriasis and other ailments cannot wear helmets, he said “Motorists whose vehicles and documents were impounded are facing a tough time paying the fine and getting their vehicles released.”
“The Court should also look into the fact that roads are not proper and are not well illuminated. This also leads to accidents. A retired judge can be appointed to seek public opinion on the difficulties faced by motorists due to wearing helmets. We will be making a representation to the Chief Minister to include sick persons in exempted category,” Kanakaraj added. He contended that the order should have been implemented only after ascertaining the availability of standard helmets, highlighting how people are being overcharged and unavailability of quality helmets in shops. But Nimmu Vasanth, a social activist who concurred with the judge on the compulsory helmet rule, requested the court to direct police to restrain them from impounding vehicles and documents. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Surface Transport informed that it has written to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) seeking directions pertaining to the design of helmets. Counsel for the Ministry said, “We are awaiting a reply from the BIS.” The Judge, in his original order directed the Surface Transport Ministry to go into the details of the design of the helmets.