Analysis of the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act, 2019.
Author: Mr. Abhishek Naharia, RGNUL, Patiala
Why the Bill was pending for long?
The Motor Vehicles Amendment Act, 2019 was passed to amend the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 and finally, it has been implemented this week. The Bill had earlier been passed by the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. The Law was earlier introduced in 2017 but could not be passed as a result of the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha. The Bill this year has been put to the table by the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill aims to enforce stricter penalties for road traffic violations.
The Biggest change/drawback.
The prime most change/drawback to the Motor Vehicles Act has been the linking of the Aadhaar for getting the driving license registered. This comes at a stage wherein the Aadhaar Act was found constitutional in the Binoy Viswam case of 2017. Justice K.S. Puttaswamy is also clear to the fact that Aadhaar is mandatory and shall be linked to all the major identities whether it be the driving license or PAN Card. Talking about the privacy violations that were occurring due to the default in the security terms and conditions and the increasing number of data leakages that were happening wherein personal data was attacked on, Aadhaar came as a setback. Now, after linking the Aadhaar to the Driving license would be a little risky because even if the Apex Court has held that linking of Aadhar creates no trouble, but for us linking of Aadhaar might create a trouble as the Aadhaar has been found to be sold for merely some money in densely populated cities like Delhi etc.
Death and Hit and Run.
After the famous Salman Khan case of hit and run, the entire scenario of such cases changed as that case brought a drastic change in the filed of such cases. The Government has promised to provide a compensation of Rs. 2 lakhs or more to the victim’s family. Where the current amount that is being given is a mere 25 thousand, giving away approximately 8 times the amount comes as a rescue of the needy citizens of India.
Juveniles and the Law.
Now on traffic violations by juveniles, the guardians or the owners of the vehicle would be held responsible unless they prove that the offence was committed without their knowledge or they tried to prevent it. The Registration of the motor vehicle which is caught shall be canceled by the Authorities. The Juvenile who is caught doing such acts in violation of the law shall then be tried as per the Juvenile Justice Act.
The best thing about the public would be that the people who come forward and protect the injured would not be forced to reveal his/her identity to the police or the medical personnel. Earlier, there used to be the thing that whosoever has come forward has to tell the police/medical personnel his identity but now as per the amended law, the person cannot be forced to do so. No civil/criminal liability would be imposed on such persons.