Now, Maha de­fers heavy penal­ties

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - FRONT PAGE - [email protected]­group.com

Ahead of the as­sem­bly polls, the Ma­ha­rash­tra trans­port min­istry has de­cided to de­fer im­ple­men­ta­tion of heavy traf­fic fines, and pe­ti­tioned the Cen­tre to re­duce them. The trans­port min­is­ter said the state will not is­sue a no­ti­fi­ca­tion un­til it hears from the Cen­tre.

Mum­bai: Ahead of the as­sem­bly elec­tions, Ma­ha­rash­tra trans­port min­istry has de­cided to de­fer im­ple­men­ta­tion of heavy fines un­der the re­cently amended Mo­tor Ve­hi­cles Act. It has also pe­ti­tioned the Cen­tre to re­duce the fines.

The an­nounce­ment comes a day af­ter the Gu­jarat govern­ment no­ti­fied the fines for some of the traf­fic of­fences, re­duc­ing the penal­ties by 25% to 90% of that re­cently no­ti­fied by the Cen­tre.

Trans­port min­is­ter Diwakar Raote has writ­ten to Union min­is­ter Nitin Gad­kari ask­ing him to re­view the fines fol­low­ing a mas­sive pub­lic out­cry. “The fines pre­scribed in the new Act have been in­creased ex­or­bi­tantly and have led to a pub­lic out­cry. The cen­tral govern­ment is re­quested to re­con­sider and re­duce the same by mak­ing suit­able amend­ments in the Cen­tre Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle Act,” reads the let­ter.

Raote said the state will not is­sue a no­ti­fi­ca­tion un­til it hears from the Cen­tre.

Re­act­ing to the let­ter, Union min­is­ter Nitin Gad­kari said, “The Ma­ha­rash­tra

trans­port min­is­ter was part of the com­mit­tee that ap­proved the Act. Deven­dra Fad­navis did not men­tion it dur­ing my dis­cus­sion with him. I feel there will be no prob­lem.”

On why Ma­ha­rash­tra does not fol­low Gu­jarat’s lead and lower the fines on it own with­out wait­ing for the Cen­tre, Raote said, “Gu­jarat has made an an­nounce­ment but has not is­sued a no­ti­fi­ca­tion yet. But I want a clear re­ply from Cen­tre and then I will take my de­ci­sion.” The Cen­tre amended MV Act on Septem­ber 1.

The new rules will also en­hance penalty for drunk driv­ing to up to six months im­pris­on­ment and/or up to Rs 10,000 fine for a first of­fence and up to two years im­pris­on­ment and/or Rs 15,000 fine for the sec­ond of­fence. Besides, the penalty for driv­ing with­out a li­cence will be in­creased from up to Rs 500 to Rs 5,000. Over­speed­ing fine has been in­creased to Rs 2,000.

Of­fi­cials said once the code of con­duct is im­ple­mented, it will be­come dif­fi­cult to no­tify new penal­ties.

“This has noth­ing to do with elec­tions. I have time and again spo­ken against heavy fines. If the code of con­duct is an­nounced and we hear from the Cen­tre, we can take per­mis­sion from the election com­mis­sion and is­sue a no­ti­fi­ca­tion,” he said.

I have time and again spo­ken against heavy fines. If the code of con­duct is an­nounced and we hear from the Cen­tre, we can take per­mis­sion from the election com­mis­sion and is­sue a no­ti­fi­ca­tion Diwakar Raote | TRANS­PORT MIN­IS­TER

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