HC seeks Centre’s stand on banning crash guards on vehicles

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today sought the Centre’s response on a plea challenging its last December’s notification directing action against vehicles fitted with metal crash guards or bull bars.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar, however, questioned the petitioner, who claims to be a bull bar manufacturer, on the need for such guards in the national capital.

“Within the city, when there is a speed limit, why do you (vehicle owners) need crash guards,” the bench asked.

It directed the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to respond to the PIL by Delhi-resident Mohammed Arif.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highway had on December 7 last year directed all the states to act against crash guards, installed at the front and rear of vehicles, saying they “pose serious safety concerns to pedestrians as well as occupants of the vehicles”.

The petitioner challenged the ministry’s letter to the states claiming bull bars as “useful safety accessories” and there is no rule or law dealing with it.

Arif contended that due to this action of the Centre, his family members and people associated with him have been affected financially. He has sought a stay on the operation of the ministry’s December 7, 2017 direction to the states.

He contended that the Centre’s decision has no legality as there is no rule, law or bye-law dealing with accessories such as crash guards or bull bars.

The dealer also said that bull bars do not fall under the purview of section 52 of the Motor Vehicle Act, because the section pertains to modification in a vehicle and not with after-market fitments.

According to the Act, “no owner of a motor vehicle shall so alter the vehicle that the particulars contained in the certificate of registration are at variance with those originally specified by the manufacturer.” Violation of this provision attracts a Rs 1,000 fine for the first offence and Rs 2,000 for subsequent offences.