States Cannot Relax Fines For Traffic Offenders Says Centre
Bhubaneswar: None of the states in India nor the Union Territories can reduce or relax the fines prescribed by the Central Motor Vehicle Act, 2019. This has been clearly stated in a letter issued by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
This step has been taken by the Central Government as a measure to regulate the high number of road accidents occurring in India.
Ministry of Road Transport has made it clear that in accordance to the Attorney General of India, in case any State wants to make a subsidiary law relating to traffic regulations, the prior assent of the President is a must.
In an attempt to decrease careless driving and reduce road accidents an amendment was brought to the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988. This law received assent 9th of August 2019 and came into force on the 1st of September 2019.
The law has been enforced in Odisha and most of the states in India. There were nationwide protests relating to the high amount of fines that have been stipulated in the Act.
The States discussed the possibility of bringing subsidiary laws and to reduce the amount of fines, in their respective assemblies. A few States had written letters to the Centre to reduce the prohibitive amount of fines.
Ministry of Road Transport had asked for the opinion of the Law Ministry. In reply the Attorney General of India clearly stated that since the new Motor Vehicle Act falls under the Central list no state or UT has the power to alter or change it.
According to Art.356 of the Indian Constitution it is binding for all state governments to enforce it. The Deputy Secretary of Ministry of Road Transport has clarified the fact and issued a directive to all the states concerned.