SC raps govt for tardy enforcement of ban on tinted glasses



New Delhi: The Supreme Court has expressed its dissatisfaction over tardy implementation of its directions banning the use of tint on car windows, beyond a permissible limit, in Delhi.

A bench of justices AK Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar pointed out that the roads of the national capital still had numerous cars with heavily tinted windows and windscreens and that the users or owners of such vehicles, often involved in accidents, go scot-free.

The court also noted that most of these vehicles were being used by VIPs enjoying Z-category security.

"There is least implementation of the judgement. Nothing is being done even today. It is the middle class who suffers. The Z-class (VIPs with Z and Z plus category security) who commit the accidents, all have black films on them (cars)," the bench said.

The court observed that the VIPs, who were permitted to use tinted film on their vehicles but only as per due procedure, were exploiting the relaxation granted to them.

The observations from the bench came while hearing a batch of petitions filed by sun film manufacturers association and others seeking clarification as well as modification of the apex court’s order banning the use of tinted glass on vehicle windowpanes.

Concerned over rising instances of criminals using black films on windscreens and side glasses of four wheelers, the apex court had directed the states and the Union territories to strictly enforce the ban on use of the tint beyond the limit permitted.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia had on April 27 said that manufacturers may produce vehicles with tinted glasses which provide for 70 percent Visual Light Transmission (VLT) for safety glasses on front and rear windscreen and 40 percent VLT for side glasses.

The directions had come into effect and were enforceable from May 4.

The apex court, however, at that time had given liberty to the police officers concerned to grant exemption to VVIPs like those enjoying "Z" and "Z plus" category security.

The court's verdict had come on a PIL filed by one Avisekh Goenka seeking total ban on all forms of tinted glasses used in four wheelers.

It had agreed with the petitioner's contention that maximum crimes are committed in such vehicles and there is a definite rise in the commission of heinous crimes, posing a threat to the security of both the individuals and the state.

The court had said another adverse aspect of the use of black films is that even if they reflect tolerable VLT during the day, it would clearly violate the prescribed VLT limits during the night and would result in poor visibility, which again would be impermissible.

The court, while granting the exemption to VVIPs and others facing threat perceptions, had said, "The cases of the persons who have been provided with Z and Z+ security category may be considered by a committee consisting of the director general of police/commissioner of police of the concerned state and the home secretary of that state/Centre.

The bench had advised that "certificates should be provided only in relation to official cars of VIPs/VVIPs, depending upon the category of security that such person has been awarded by the competent authority."

PTI