New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought responses from the central and state governments on a public interest suit challenging the April 15 government notification exempting some category of four-wheel passenger and transport vehicles from mandatorily installing speed governors.
The apex court bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice N.V. Ramana issued a notice after the NGO Suraksha Foundation questioned the rationale for such an exemption for these passengers and commercial vehicles from installing speed governors, that is a mandatory requirement under the Central Motor Vehicles (Sixth Amendment) Rules.
Seeking response from the Centre, state governments, and the union territories, SC also sought reports on the enforcing of the provisions mandating the fitting of speed governors (speed controlling device) on the notified kind of passenger and transport vehicles under the Central Motor Vehicles (Sixth Amendment) Rules.
It gave them six weeks’ time to file the report.
The Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, on Speed governors says that the transport vehicles as may be notified by the state government shall be fitted with a speed governor in such a manner that the speed governor can be sealed with an official seal in such a way that it cannot be removed or tampered with without the seal being broken.
The rules further say the speed governor of every transport vehicle shall be so set that the vehicle is incapable of being driven at a speed in excess of the maximum pre-set speed of the vehicle except down an incline.
Challenging the notification exempting the vehicles, the petitioner said it was these very exempted vehicles that were responsible for a large number of road accidents.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday the Governors had a crucial role to play within the constitutional framework and they could ensure better implementation of the central schemes for the benefit of a larger section of the population.
Addressing the opening session of the 49th Conference of Governors at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Modi said the Governors could leverage their experience in different walks of life to ensure people get the maximum benefit of various central development schemes and initiatives.
The institution of Governor had a “pivotal role to play within the federal structure and Constitutional framework of our country”, he said.
The Prime Minister said Governors of states with significant tribal population can help in ensuring financial inclusion of the tribal communities as well as in facilitating various government initiatives in fields such as education, sports and others to reach them.
This was in consonance with the message given by President Ram Nath Kovind earlier who asked the Governors to use their position in bringing about changes in the lives of those marginalised and enhancing higher education standards in the country.
The Prime Minister mentioned some key themes of development such as the National Nutrition Mission, electrification of villages and development parameters in the aspirational districts. He suggested that Governors could visit a few recently electrified villages to witness first-hand the benefits of electrification.
Noting that the Governors were also the Chancellors of state universities, he said they could help ensure that admissions, appointments, examinations and convocations were on time.
He said that International Yoga Day on June 21 could be utilized as an opportunity to generate greater awareness about yoga among the youth and the universities could also become the focal point for the celebrations for Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th anniversary.
Modi suggested that planning for the 50th Governors’ Conference next year should begin immediately. This effort should focus on making this annual event even more productive.
Earlier, in his inaugural address at the Conference, Kovind observed that the Governor was “a mentor and guide to the state and an important link in the federal structure”.
“As per the Constitution, the post of Governor has an exalted place in the scheme of governance. The Governor is a mentor and guide to the state and an important link in the federal structure.
“The people of the state view the office of the Governor and the Raj Bhavan as a fount of ideals and values,” he told the Governors and Lt Governors.
He said the Governors could help in shaping the roadmap for the betterment of lives of the citizens who have not benefited “as much as expected from our development journey”.
The central focus for this year’s conference is to sensitise the attending state heads to the programmes being implemented for citizens who have been left behind in the country’s developmental journey.
The two-day meet will discuss important issues including flagship programmes, internal security, higher education, skill development, steps taken on the report of Committee of Governors set up during the 48th Conference and commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
It will also discuss schemes being run in the 115 aspirational districts across the country to help Governors better understand and enable them to guide the stakeholders in the welfare schemes for the poor, women, Dalits and tribals, farmers and young people, said Kovind.
“There are approximately 100 million people in our country who belong to the Scheduled Tribes. A majority of this population lives in regions that are covered under the Constitution’s Fifth and Sixth Schedule,” he said about the people who need support.
Apart from the Governors and Lt Governors of all states and Union Territories, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, various Union Ministers besides the NITI Aayog CEO and other senior officials were also at the meet. (IANS)