Now, Maha defers heavy penalties
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