The Madras High Court has sought a response from the Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry on a petition challenging its May one notification on speed governors.

A vacation bench of Justices M M Sundresh and R Mahadevan directed the Union ministry, the state home secretary (transport) department, and the transport commissioner, Chennai to file their replies within two weeks on the plea by Motor Vehicles and Allied Industries Association.

The notification issued on May 1 this year withdrew the earlier exemption granted to transport vehicles not exceeding 3,500 kg of weight from installing speed governors.

The Association termed it as "illegal and unconstitutional".

When the plea came up yesterday, the counsel for the association argued that exemption granted to a certain category of commercial vehicles from fixing speed governors has been withdrawn and the same kind of vehicles can ply across the country when operated for private use.

The petitioner sought a direction to declare the notification withdrawing the exemption granted to four-wheeled transport vehicles, used for carrying passengers not exceeding eight and their luggage, from installing speed governors as illegal, invalid and ultra vires of the Constitution.

The notification mandated the installation of speed governor, an instrument that limits the top speed of a vehicle, in commercial vehicles.