Kerala government seeks report on Motor Vehicles Act from transport secretary

This decision was taken in a meeting chaired by the CM Pinarayi Vijayan after the large-scale public protest over the exorbitant fine amounts prescribed in the Act.

Published: 21st September 2019 08:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st September 2019 08:00 PM   |  A+A-

AK Saseendran

Kerala Transport Minister A K Saseendran (File Photo | EPS)

By PTI

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala government on Saturday asked the transport secretary to file a report on the provisions of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 so that state government could reduce the fine as was laid down in the Act.

This decision was taken in a meeting chaired by the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan after the large-scale public protest over the exorbitant fine amounts prescribed in the Act. "We have identified certain provisions in the Act in which the state government could interfere. We have instructed the transport department to file a report on the new structure of fines that could be implemented," state Transport Minister AK Saseendran told reporters after the meet.

Also, the meeting decided to ask the Centre to reduce the fine amount in the provisions which affect the common man. "We are not saying the violators should be let off. We are asking whether we need severe punishments," he said.

However, he said the state would continue with the vehicle-checks despite some confusion over the penalty for traffic violations and asked the people to co-operate with the police.

Saseendran had written to Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari saying the state governments could earlier fix the compounding fee upto a certain amount, but this power has been withdrawn and the Centre itself has fixed the fine amount at a higher-level.

Hence as in the earlier provisions of the MV Act, the flexibility for fixing the compounding fee proportionate to the gravity of offences and affordable to the common public by the state government should be restored, Saseendran had said in his letter.

He had asked Gadkari to take steps to issue an ordinance amending the MV Act, and urged him to issue clarifications to the state governments on it. Although Gadkari had said the state governments could choose the quantum of fines, there has still been no clarity on the matter.

Kerala had demanded reduction in the fine and imprisonment for other offences, which do not come under Section 200 of the MV Act. The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019, was passed by the Rajya Sabha on July 31 and came into force on August 9.

Sixty-three clauses, including the penalty provisions, were implemented from September 1. The legislation also aims to remove corruption, improve road safety and use technology to regulate traffic.

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