The Bombay High Court asked the Centre to consider amending the Motor Vehicles Act to bring in a more stringent penalty for those vehicles found plying without fitness certificates.
“The Centre shall consider amending section 192 of the Motor Vehicles Act (pertaining to fitness certificates) so as to provide for a more stringent penalty which will act as a deterrent. Appropriate decision shall be taken within three months,” a division bench of justices A S Oka and V L Achiliya said.
This direction along with several others were passed by the bench during the hearing of a PIL by Shrikant Karve raising the issue of non-compliance of rules by Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) while issuing fitness certificates or renewal of the same.
“We direct all RTOs to scrupulously follow all rules while testing transport vehicles for purpose of grant of fitness certificates or for renewal of the same. A special drive for checking fitness certificates of all vehicles in the state shall be conducted regularly and preferably for a period of 15 days twice a year,” the court ordered.
The court also asked the state government to consider fixing adequate number of video cameras for recording the process of tests carried out on vehicles before issuance of fitness certificates and renewal of the same.
“It will be ideal if video cameras are installed for recording of the checking done on each transport vehicle prior to grant of or renewal of fitness certificates. This shall include tests of brakes of vehicles. This will bring in transparency and the officers will become more accountable,” it said.
“This will also rule out possible allegations of corruption against officers. A provision can be made to save the recorded footage for a limited duration,” the court said.