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RTOs have no equipment to check fitness of vehicles

Expressing shock over the fact that Regional Transport Offices in Maharashtra issue vehicle fitness certificates without the mandatory checks, Bombay High Court directed the authorities to provide them equipment for checking headlight beams and brakes.

The equipment is to be provided to all the 49 RTOs in the state by March 10.

“If such facilities are not provided at the RTOs by the appointed date, then we shall stop you from issuing fitness certificates,” said the division bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka, while hearing a public interest litigation seeking a direction to RTO to follow provisions of Motor Vehicles Act.

The court also directed the Transport Commissioner to file a compliance affidavit.

To a query by the judges, the government pleader said the cost of equipment ranges from Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000 apiece.

“It is indeed shocking to know that such facilities are not available in major cities,” said the bench and warned that no further time would be given beyond March 10.

An affidavit filed by Transport Commissioner Satish Sahasrabudhe said the equipment to check headlight beams and brakes were not available at the RTOs in Aurangabad, Jalna, Amravati, Thane, Latur, Nasik and Pune.

Also, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), in a report, has said that these facilities are not available at RTOs in Nasik, Aurangabad and Mumbai.

Petitioner Srikant Karve alleges that an average 70 vehicles are cleared everyday by each RTO in the state after issuing the fitness certificates, and this would be impossible if the mandatory checks are actually being carried out.

Next hearing would be on March 14.

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