The Modi government, in the last monsoon session of the Parliament, passed a total of 28 bills on many subjects areas in the law. The number of bills passed stands close to 133 when it comes to the previous term of the government.
Keeping this in mind, no other legislation has caught the attention of the common people as much as the amended Motor Vehicles Act. The obvious reason being the uniqueness of the Act pertaining to the hefty fines that have been imposed under the Act for traffic violations. Even the BJP ruled states have not implemented the Act in its entirety. The first state to cut down on the penalties was Gujarat as was stated by the CM of the state that the state can amend the provisions as transport is a state subject.
The non-BJP states like West Bengal have refused to implement the Act along with other states like Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, and Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, and Punjab. Stating that the penalties under the Act have not been set considering the poor people, West Bengal CM- Mamata Banerjee has refused to implement the Act as of now.
Seeing that the Act and its provisions have not been welcomed by the people of the country, the Union Transport Minister- Nitin Gadkari defended the Act by raising the concern of the road accidents that happen the most in India due to people’s negligence towards the traffic rules. He further mentioned that saving a life is more important than thinking about fines and money.
He further stated that the states can amend the provisions of the Act as the fines collected and the revenue generated would go to the state government ultimately. However, the states should not cut down the penalties as this would not deter the people from following the traffic rules. It is interesting to note that nobody from the Modi government except the Union Transport Minister- Nitin Gadkari has come forward to defend the Act and justify the provisions and penalties.