In a big development on Monday, the Centre has decided to extend the validity of fitness certificate, permits, driving license, registration and other documents pertaining to vehicles until June 30, 2020. This applies to those documents whose validity has expired since February 1.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has taken this decision as citizens are facing difficulties in the renewal of the validity of such documents due to the ongoing nationwide lockdown imposed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
As per the Centre’s advisory, the fact that the Ministry of Home Affairs specifically allowed the transport of essential goods and items was a crucial factor behind the latest decision. All states and Union Territories have been advised to follow this directive of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. This would ensure that the transporters rendering essential services are not harassed.
Centre extends till June 30 validity of driving licences, permits and registration that expired since Feb 1— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) March 30, 2020
After the declaration of the nationwide lockdown by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the MHA issued an order detailing the guidelines. As per the order, all offices of the government barring for those providing essential services will remain shut. They will function with a minimum number of employees. Hospitals and all medical establishments will be open and the transport of the people working in this field will be permitted.
All commercial establishments and private organisations will be closed. The exemptions include print and electronic media, shops selling essential items, e-delivery of food, medical equipment, banks, petrol pumps, etc. Legal action can be taken against a person for not following the quarantine period prescribed by local health authorities or for violating the containment measures. Subsequently, the MHA issued multiple revisions to the original order expanding the exemption list.
On March 26, the MHA issued a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to be followed by states and Union Territories for maintaining the supply of essential goods during the nationwide lockdown. In a letter written to the Chief Secretaries of all states and Union Territories, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla mentioned that the strict restrictions relate to the movement of people and not to that of essential goods. The inter-city, intra-city and inter-state transportation of essential goods was added to the list of exemptions.