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Transport Ministry Asserts That States Can't Lower Fine Under Motor Vehicles Act

Transport Ministry has asserted that the state govt cannot take any executive action or pass any law to lower fines mentioned in Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act.

Transport

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, on Monday, asserted that the state governments across India, cannot take any executive action or pass any law to lower the fine mentioned in the statutory provisions of Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019. 

The ministry added that the President’s assent is necessary to bring in any law across the country. Furthermore, the transport ministry also sought legal advice from the Ministry of Law and Justice. 

Advisory issued by Road Transport and Highways ministry 

The advisory issued by the Transport ministry read, “Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 is Parliamentary legislation, state governments can't pass any law/take executive action to lower the penalty/fine below that prescribed under statutory provisions of Act unless President's assent is obtained to such State law. In this connection, the Ministry had sought legal advice from the Ministry of Law and Justice.” 

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The Ministry further brought up another incidence where one of the states imposed fines for traffic violation offences as per section 200 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. However, the amount prescribed in the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 is higher and the imposition of fines as per the old act is a clear violation of the new one. 

The Ministry said that the objective behind increasing the penalties was to ensure greater compliance and enhanced deterrence with respect to violation of traffic rules. 

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Attorney General's observations  

The advisory issued by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways further quoted Attorney General's observations and read, "The disobedience of these directions could well attract the provisions of Article 356 of the Constitution of India, and one could, therefore, proceed on the basis that the central law would implicitly be obeyed by the state governments.” 

(With ANI Inputs)

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