New MVA opposed in several states

New MVA opposed in several states
IYC members try to give away a motorcycle to the police during a protest against traffic fines near the residence of Nitin Gadkari, in New Delhi, Wednesday.
NEW DELHI, SEP 12 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 9/12/2019 10:22:33 AM IST

The amendment in the Motor Vehicle law increasing penalties for violations of traffic rules multiple times has not gone well with the people. Several state governments including the BJP-led ones have either diluted the law or put it on hold.

Gujarat: It announced to revise penalties and in certain cases, it has brought down the fines by almost 90 per cent. This was surprising given that PM Modi and Amit Shah continue to hold influence over the Gujarat government of Vijay Rupani.

Poll-bound states: Among the poll-bound states of Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand, only the Manohar Lal Khattar government of Haryana has implemented it. Maharashtra, where Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is in full election campaign mode, has not implemented it.

Jharkhand too does not intend to implement the amended Motor Vehicle Act. One Jharkhand minister said the motor vehicle act is not in the interest of the people. He, however, refused to link it with the upcoming election but the real reason is anybody’s guess.

Other BJP states: Karnataka, where chief minister BS Yeddiyurappa recently returned in to power in a very uneasy situation, has announced to follow the Gujarat model. The new Motor Vehicle laws will be implemented but penalties will be cut down significantly. Uttarakhand has done the same, implemented with cuts.  BJP-ruled  Assam and Tripura have said they will implement the Motor Vehicle Act but Uttar Pradesh the political powerhouse of the BJP is noncommittal.

Bihar, where the BJP is in power in alliance with the Janata Dal (United) of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the Lok Janshakti Party of Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, has implemented the amended Motor Vehicle Act but more on implementation. Bihar Police,   forced violators to buy helmets, apply for driving license, get pollution tests done on the spot against payment of fees or take similar measures depending on the nature of the violation of law. Imposing fines has been low, as per reports but the government has said it will fully implement the central law.

Non-BJP states:  Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Punjab all ruled by the Congress have put the new Motor Vehicle Act on hold. Rajasthan, another Congress-ruled state, has implemented it only partially.  The Madhya Pradesh government has said the fines under the amended Motor Vehicle law are excessive. State law minister said even if the Kamal Nath government implemented the law, it would reduce penalties.

West Bengal government of Mamata Banerjee has been the most vocal critic of the amended Motor Vehicle Act. Mamata Banerjee made it clear that her government would not implement the new Motor Vehicle Act as it would put additional burden on people. Kerala implemented it at first and then put the amended Motor Vehicle law on hold. It is likely to follow the Gujarat model of implementation with cuts in penalties.

The Odisha government has announced a moratorium for three months over the implementation of the new Motor Vehicle Act.   Though the state governments have discretionary powers to ease the penalties with respect to certain offences in the new MV Act, the Delhi government is not mulling diluting them because the stringent measures are meant to ensure road safety, said Kailash Gahlot, the transport minister.

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