Getting tough

The Supreme Court bans the registration of three-wheelers in Delhi

Published: Thursday 15 January 1998

In an effort to restrict the alarmingly high levels of vehicular pollution in the Delhi, the Supreme Court (SC) has ordered "freezing" any fresh registration of three-wheeler taxi scooter rickshaws (TSRs) unless an old vehicle is replaced by a new one.

In the order passed by a bench comprising chief justice J S Verma, justice B N Kirpal and justice V N Khare, the court observed that it would be in the interest of the environment to freeze the number of TSRs. The Union government had earlier informed the court that there were some 83,000 TSRs in New Delhi and that they were major pollutants. However, the actual number of TSRs plying on the road is far less. The court also ordered that trading in the permit of vehicles would invite penal action, and directed the authorities not to renew any permit that has been or is being used by any person other than the original holder.

The court also asked the Delhi police commissioner to frame guidelines for political as well as religious processions that obstruct traffic. "The guidelines should be in conformity with the rights of the road-users and the exercise of fundamental freedom of other citizens," the court ruled. Regarding road safety, the court directed civic authorities to remove all encroachments that obstructed the smooth flow of traffic or pedestrians' path. The authorities were also asked to curb stray cattle that disrupt the free movement of traffic.

The apex court also set a deadline of January 31, 1998, for all educational institutes engaging buses for students to provide the vehicles with doors. It also ordered that school buses should not carry children more than one-and-a-half times its registered capacity and should have a qualified conductor. Similar guidelines have been ordered for TSRs and taxis. While lowering the years of experience from 10 to 5 years for granting a driving licence for heavy vehicles, the court ordered that the license of a driver challaned twice for jumping red light, overtaking or wrong parking should be cancelled.

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