Mumbai: Two-wheeler pillion riders too will now have to wear helmets in Maharashtra with the state Transport department on Saturday issuing a circular to this effect as per the orders of the Bombay High Court.
"The Bombay High Court had made it compulsory for bike riders and those riding pillion to compulsorily wear a helmet.
It's the government's responsibility to ensure that HC's orders are implemented," stated the circular issued by Transport department.
"To ensure that the order is implemented effectively, those wanting a new license will have to submit in writing that the two-wheeler rider as well as the pillion rider will wear helmets," it added.
The circular also directed all two-wheeler dealers to sell not one but two helmets to customers.
Regional Transport Offices (RTO) have been directed to ask dealers to produce the proof of supplying two helmets to the rider at the time of registration, besides other documents.
However, the decision by the Shiv Sena-led Transport Department has evoked a sharp reaction from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray.
"Instead of issuing such orders, the government should first concentrate on improving the existing condition of roads.
"Issuing such guidelines to make both rider and the person riding pillion to wear helmets means the government wants helmet selling companies to make more profits,especially when basic facilities are not being provided to citizens," Mr Thackeray said.
However, Transport Minister Diwakar Raote said that if anybody has a problem with the government's order they can approach the court.