Helmet for women two-wheeler riders: HC asks petitioner to challenge provision of MV rule

Delhi High court asked petitioner, seeking direction to make helmets mandatory for women two-wheeler riders to file plea challenging Delhi Motor Vehicle (DMV) rule which exempts them.

New Delhi: The Delhi High court on Monday asked a petitioner, seeking a direction to make helmets mandatory for women two-wheeler riders in the city, to file a fresh plea challenging the provision of the Delhi Motor Vehicle (DMV) rule which exempts them from wearing a head gear.
Disposing of a contempt plea, Justice Sudershan Misra declined to initiate any contempt proceedings against the officers of the Transport Department and accepted the state government`s affidavit which said "law exempting women two-wheeler riders from wearing helmets in the city would remain in force as any change is being objected to by Sikh women".

"The court asked me to file a fresh plea before the appropriate bench challenging the provision of the Delhi Motor Vehicle rules...," said Ulhas P R, the petitioner.

"The court, however, asked the concerned department to provide me the detail about the date-wise meetings held by the officers on this issue and the decision taken by them on it so far," the petitioner, a documentary filmmaker, said.

Earlier, through an affidavit, the Transport department had told the court that the decision of not amending the law (Delhi Motor Vehicle rules) has been taken after keeping in mind the sensitivities of the Sikh community.

"... It was found that the objection is from Sikh women....In the said discussion (in the office of Chief Secretary with Lt Governor) on March 20, 2012), the issue of wearing of helmets by the women was discussed inter alia policy for making use of helmet compulsory for women," the affidavit said.

According to rules, Sikhs wearing turbans and women are exempted from wearing helmets while riding motor-cycles and scooters.

The court was hearing a plea, filed through counsel R K Kapoor, seeking initiation of contempt proceedings for non-compliance of its earlier order to amend the DMV rules for making helmets mandatory for woman pillion riders in two months despite being asked by the court in April last year.

"Every year, about 60 to 70 women die due to head injuries sustained in road accidents involving two wheelers and the government should make wearing helmets compulsory for all pillion riders as well," the PIL had said.


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