New road safety bill proposes stricter punishment
As the old Motor Vehicles Act is set to be replaced by a new Road Traffic Act, motorists caught speeding, driving drunk or jumping red lights may not get away with a light fine and some perfunctory rebuke from the traffic cop.
Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has said that the new draft law, to be introduced in the winter session of Parliament, will be at par with international Acts in the road sector.
The punishment gets harsher with the seriousness of the offence – a Rs 3 lakh fine and a minimum seven years in jail for causing the death of a child in certain circumstances; Rs 5 lakh in penalty and three months in jail for faulty manufacturing design; a Rs 1 lakh fine for driving an unregistered vehicle; and cancellation of license for rash and negligent driving.
First offence for drunk driving will attract a Rs 25,000 fine, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months, or both along with a six-month license suspension. Second offence within three years will result in Rs 50,000 penalty or imprisonment for up to one year, or both and a one-year license suspension.
‘Any subsequent offence shall result in the cancellation of the license, and impounding of the vehicle which may extend for 30 days,’ the draft bill states.
Violating traffic signal three times will result in Rs 15,000 fine, license cancellation for a month, and compulsory refresher training.
HDFC Bank asked to pay Rs 15,000 for ‘harassing’ consumer
West Delhi District Consumer, presided by Bimla Makin, has directed HDFC Bank to pay Rs 15,000 compensation to a man for ‘harassing’ him by charging him on his credit card for an air ticket that he had not purchased.
‘...the complainant has successfully proved both his allegations against the opposite party (bank) that no air ticket was purchased by him by using the credit card issued to him and he did not receive any statement of account as it was being sent at a wrong address,’ the forum noted.
The forum also directed the bank to reverse all the entries in his account.
Parents can file complaint on behalf of wards
The Central Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has said that parents who hire services as well as their wards who are beneficiaries are consumers and either can file a complaint. The forum made the observations after the Institute of Hotel Management, Dadar, Mumbai, responding to a complaint filed by a student’s father seeking refund of admission fees, argued that the same should be dismissed as the complaint was not filed by the pupil.
The forum has directed the college to refund Rs 36,000 and pay Rs 15,000 compensation. In order to arrive at this judgement, the forum relied on a Supreme Court verdict that categorically laid down that parents would come within the definition of ‘consumer’.
Nepean Sea Road resident Ajay Prasad had filed the complaint in 2012. On 14 June 2011, his son secured provisional admission at the college after paying the fees and classes were to commence on 15 July 2011. Around the same time, his son secured admission in an institute in Pune and enrolled after paying the fees on 24 June 2011. In July, Prasad wrote a letter to the Dadar institute withdrawing the admission and seeking a refund. Despite several requests, the institute refunded only Rs 2,500.
The institute submitted that the complainant's son had attained majority at the time of filing of the case and in his absence the complaint was not maintainable. It further claimed that admission cancellation rules were available online and the son was aware of these rules.
However, the University Grants Commission norms mandate that the student is entitled to get a refund, the forum ruled.