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HC notice to Maha govt, Bajaj Auto on safety gears for pillion rider

The Bombay High Court has sought the stands of Maharashtra government and two-wheeler major Bajaj Auto on a plea for strict implementation of a Supreme Court order to all two-wheeler manufacturers to equip their vehicles with safety gears for pillion riders.

A bench of justices S M Kemkar and M S Karnik sought the stands of the government and Bajaj Auto last week on a plea by an elderly Mumbaikar, Gyan Prakash seeking court’s directions to two-wheeler manufacturers to install proper safety accessories like saree guards and hand grips for pillion riders.

Gyan Prakash, 71, had the moved the high court earlier this month for enforcement of the apex court’s February judgement, saying that the government must be asked not to register any two-wheeler which does not conform to the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 guidelines on safety gears for the pillion riders.

The relevant rule 123 provides for mandatory safety measures for pillion riders in the two wheelers before their roll out from factories.

The rule says “No motorcycle, which has provision for pillion rider, shall be built without provision for a permanent hand grip on the side or behind the driver’s seat, a foot rest and a protective device covering not less than half of the rear wheel so as to prevent the clothes of the person sitting on the pillion from being entangled in the wheel.” The application also sought a direction to Bajaj Auto Ltd, a leading two-wheeler maker based in Pune, and other companies not to sell scooters and motorcycles without these safety accessories for pillion riders.

“The transport commissioner should be directed to submit a compliance report on the Supreme Court order,” the petition by Gyan Prakash said.

Seeking replies of the government and the auto major to the petition within two weeks, the high court bench has slated the petition for hearing two weeks after submission of the replies.

Gyan Prakash earlier had filed a PIL on the issue in the high court in 2008, but as the apex court was already seized of the matter, the court had disposed of his petition.

Gyan Prakash, in his application, had sought that his PIL be revived and heard.

Police kill 13 Naxals in encounter at Gadchiroli

At least 13 Naxals were gunned down in an encounter with police in Etapalli’s Boriya forest area in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra, on Sunday.

The encounter took place around 11:00 a.m. between the Naxals and the C-60 commandos.

However, no official confirmation on the death toll has been received from the authorities yet.

The additional teams of the special unit have been dispatched to the Boria jungle area for security purpose.
Two bars raided in Thane; 31 arrested

The district police raided two bars and arrested 31 people, including 13 women, on various charges, an official said.

The raids were conducted on the two bars in the Kashimira locality last evening, Assistant Superintendent of Police Atul Kulkarni said.

The action came following complaints of rampant violation of norms by bars operating in the area, he said.

A total of 31 people, including 13 women working in these outlets, and also some customers were arrested during the raids, Kulkarni said.

The women were found allegedly engaging in “obscene” acts and they were “encouraged” in these moves by bar staffers and customers, the police officer said.

Police also found a number of violations in operation of the bars, he said.

Cash totalling Rs 71,100 was seized from the outlets, Kulkarni said.

Offences under IPC section 294 (obscene acts and songs) and other relevant provisions were registered with the Kashimira police station against the two outlets, he added.

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