The court said that action being taken to penalise people not wearing helmets while riding a two-wheeler should reflect on the roads and should not remain limited only on papers. We cannot play with the lives of the people, observed the HC.
A PIL filed by a law student Aishwarya Shandilya contended that most of the deaths in road mishaps take place because two-wheeler riders don’t wear helmets, which is compulsory. She further said that the Supreme Court and the high court have issued directives from time to time making it compulsory for the two-wheeler riders to wear helmets. The Motor Vehicle Act also makes it compulsory, but in the absence of proper enforcement, the provision of compulsory helmet for two-wheeler riders is not followed. If the compulsory helmet rule is properly enforced, the figures of death due to road mishap could drastically be reduced, she argued.
A status report presented by the state government over the issue said that 40,000 challans were made in Jabalpur alone for not wearing helmets while riding a two-wheeler. A public awareness campaign is also being run to make people wear helmets while riding a two-wheeler.
A division bench comprising chief justice R Malimath and Justice Vishal Mishra, however, expressed displeasure over the report and said everybody riding a two-wheeler should be seen wearing a helmet, the action should reflect on the roads and not be limited to papers only.
The matter will now come up for hearing in the first week of December.
Advocate Avadhesh Singh Tomar appeared in the case on behalf of the petitioner.
Earlier on October 3, following observation of a division bench of MP high court headed by the chief justice of MP high court during hearing of a PIL that nobody is seen wearing a helmet on roads, the office of director general of police has written a letter to police commissioners of Bhopal and Indore and superintendent of police (SPs) of all the districts for strict enforcement of compulsory helmet rule for the two-wheeler riders including the pillion riders.
The DGP’s letter circulated to HoDs of government/ private offices that they must issue orders to make it compulsory for all employees in their respective offices using two-wheelers to wear helmets including those riding pillion. Those not abiding by the rule should not be allowed into the office.
It further said that principals of all the schools/colleges should not let students/parents without helmets in campus. Flex-posters should be placed at all the petrol pumps asking two-wheeler riders to wear helmets and not give petrol/diesel to those not wearing helmets.