Bhopal, Sep 14 (IANS) Madhya Pradesh was among one of the first states to spell out reservations about enforcing the penal provisions of the new Motor Vehicles Act (MVA), 2019.
Experts from different walks of life have pointed out numerous anomalies in the new provisions and have expressed fears that steep fines would only add to corruption.
The state government had said it would review the new changes in the Act.
The debate is on whether Madhya Pradesh can forever put off enforcement of the new law. Legal experts say sooner or later, the state will have to accept the changes even if with watered down penalties.
The state's Law Minister P.C. Sharma had categorically said the new traffic law will not be implemented at the moment.
Taking a cue from Gujarat, Karnataka and Uttarakhand, which have almost halved the
penalties, Madhya Pradesh wants to give itself some time before formulating new provisions.
"I have spoken with the Law Secretary and will meet Chief Minister Kamal Nath to discuss the
necessary amendments," says Sharma.
As now of now, the penalty appears huge and not everyone can pay it given the common man's economy.
The Madhya Pradesh government's compunction flows from infrastructural inadequacies. The state
capital is a classic example of how the successive governments have allowed encroachments to
shrink parking space, the road conditions are pathetic and most flyovers built over the past 10 years have engineering flaws. Electronic traffic signals and CCTV camera network coverage is also low.
Terming the MVA a "Tughlaqi" (arbitrary and fickle like Muhammad bin Tughlaq's fiats) order, Madhya Pradesh Transport Minister Govind Singh Rajput said the high fine rates could not be implemented in the state for now.
"I will talk to Chief Minister Kamal Nath about it and wherever necessary, relief will be extended," said Rajput.
Besides government officials, transport experts and road users were being consulted on the issue, he added.
Rajpur however, agreed that hefty fines should be imposed on those caught for driving under the
influence of alcohol. Interestingly the fine for drunken driving is Rs 10,000 while for defying police signal to stop it is Rs 2,000.
"The government should amend some parts of the Act. That is why we'll not implement it for now," Rajput said.
Taking a cue from Gujarat and Uttarakhand, Nath said the Centre must reconsider the quantum of penalties.
"We also want to put a check on road accidents and ensure the safety of people's lives but a
pragmatic view is needed on penalties.
"The Central government must reconsider the number of penalties imposed (in the Act) and provide relief to the public. We are also studying the Act."
On September 2, Nath had announced that his government would not implement the new Act as public welfare is the priority.
The state government has, however, clarified that barring huge traffic fines, it has approved the guidelines suggested in the amendment.
"Except for hefty fines, the state government has accepted all other rules recommended under the new Act to strengthen the law. The BJP-ruled states, Gujarat and Uttarakhand, have paved way for others to decide on the new law and Madhya Pradesh is likely to follow the same," P.C. Sharma said.
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