The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to consider suggestions of all parties concerned and decide expeditiously the issue concerning safety standards of quadricycles, a lightweight four-wheeler and also four wheelers of mass upto 1500 kg.
A bench of Justice AK Goel and Justice UU Lalit asked all petitioners before it to place their suggestions before Joint Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport, who shall give them due consideration.
The bench passed the order after Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand submitted that matters concerning safety standards and emissions of quadricycle and lightweight vehicles are at the final stage of the consideration by the Ministry of Road Transport.
“Having regard to the nature of the issue, we permit the parties before this Court to file their suggestions, if any, to the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport, Central Government within a period of two weeks from today. The same be given due consideration and the matter may thereafter be finalised expeditiously,” the court ordered.
With this, the bench disposed of several petitions which came before it from across the country relating to the sale of small 4-wheelers with a mass upto 1500 kg and quadricycles.
According to the original writ petitioners, safety and emission standards must be first laid down before the vehicles of this nature are introduced in the market. If it is not done so, it may endanger safety of all concerned.
In one such case, a high court had passed interim order(s) directing the Central Government not to permit auto manufacturers release and sell such vehicles.
During the hearing in the petitions, the attention of the bench was drawn to Rule 2(1) of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, which defines category M1 motor vehicles.
Rule 2(2) defines quadricycles and it was contended by the petitioners that there was an attempt to reduce the rigour of standards for the quadricycles which was not desirable.
The bench noted that the Centre had also constituted a committee under Dinesh Tyagi, director of Institute of Automotive Technology, for framing rules for quadricycles etc and was making a decision in the light of its report.
On January 29 this year, the Centre also informed the court that relevant rules/instructions have been worked out for the safety standards for quadricycles.
A copy of notification dated November 24, 2017, with regard to emission standards was also placed on record, apart from the draft notification of June 2017 with regard to the safety standards for quadricycles.