Mandatory to sell helmets with two-wheelers: SC

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - 16:58

New Delhi: Two-wheeler makers will now have
to sell a helmet along with their bikes and scooters after the
Supreme Court today dismissed a plea by the Society of Indian
Automobile Manufacturers against such a step.

A bench comprising Justice G S Singhvi and Justice A K
Ganguly dismissed the petition filed by the Society of Indian
Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) challenging an earlier order
of the Delhi High Court.

The apex court said the manufacturers would have to give
BSI certified helmets as "original equipment".

On July 30, 2009, the High Court made it mandatory for
dealers to sell helmets along with new two-wheelers and said
that the vehicle would not be registered by the authorities
without it.

SIAM contended that the High Court order would restrict
the people`s choice to buy their own helmet. Moreover, it
would also force a person to buy a helmet again when he buys a
new two-wheeler.

However, the Apex Court was not convinced with the
argument and said, "Let there be more helmets. When you are
buying a second scooter of Rs 40,000, then you can buy a
helmet also, which is of Rs 300 only."

In its petition, SIAM had contended that by the orders of
the High Court, the choice of customers was curtailed, as they
were forced to buy from the dealers of automobile companies
and not from the open market.

The association further contended that it was against the
Motor Vehicles Act, which "helmet for a person" only and not
"helmet for a vehicle".

It also raised questions over the High Court`s direction
to provide only those helmets conforming to the Bureau of
Indian Standards.

"The High Court made a serious error in directing that
all purchasers of two-wheelers have to purchase helmet only
from the dealer.

"This direction curtails the freedom of the purchaser to
purchase helmet from the open market and third parties. It is
also possible that in a particular case the purchaser may be
buying a second vehicle and therefore may already have an
existing helmet," said SIAM in its petition filed by counsels
Vipin Nair and P B Suresh.

PTI

First Published: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - 16:58
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