States cannot lower fines under Motor Vehicles Act: Centre

The Centre has said that no state can lower traffic penalties as prescribed in the new Motor Vehicles Act.

Published: 08th January 2020 11:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th January 2020 11:27 AM   |  A+A-

Traffic policemen stop a motorist driving in the wrong lane as the amended Motor Vehicles Act came into force.

Traffic policemen stop a motorist driving in the wrong lane as the amended Motor Vehicles Act came into force. (Photo | EPS/Arun Kumar)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  The Centre has said that no state can lower traffic penalties as prescribed in the new Motor Vehicles Act.“The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 is a parliamentary legislation and the state governments cannot pass any law or take executive action to lower penalty below the prescribed limit unless President’s assent has been obtained to the related state law,” the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in an advisory issued to the states. 

The transport ministry had held consultations with its law counterpart after a state had notified less fines than that prescribed in the new MV Act.

“The Ministry of Law and Justice has tendered advice after seeking opinion of the Attorney General. The Attorney General has inter alia observed as under: The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (as amended by Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019) is a Parliamentary legislation, the state governments cannot pass any law/take executive action to lower the penalty/fine below that prescribed under the statutory provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, unless the assent of the President is obtained to such state law,” the ministry advisory read.

The advisory to the principal secretaries of states mentioned the legal opinion that in case of the failure of states to implement the Act, reference may be made to Article 256 of the Constitution that authorises the Centre to issue directions to a state as may be necessary for the purpose.

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