The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought the Central government’s response to a petition challenging its decision of directing action against fitment of metal crash guards or bull bars in vehicles.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar sought a response from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) on the plea filed by a manufacturer of crash guards.
On December 7, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways directed all states to act against crash guards, installed at the front and back of vehicles, as they “pose serious safety concerns to pedestrians as well as occupants of the vehicles”.
The petitioner has sought to stay on the government’s notification but the bench refused to stay it. The court now posted the matter for next hearing on February 6.
Advocate Kameshwar Gumber, appearing for the petitioner, said the government’s decision to ban crash guards was “invalid” and was “taken without any scientific survey on its safety quotient”.
The petitioner further claimed that crash guards are “useful safety accessories” and that there is no rule or law dealing with it.
The plea said that the ministry had said that crash guards fall under the purview of Section 52 of Motor Vehicle Act and attract a penalty, but crash guards do not come under the section as it pertains to modification in a vehicle and not after-market fitments.
The High Court is seized of another petition which has sought to ban such metal bumper guards as they pose a threat to lives of pedestrians as well as passengers.
The petition had claimed that in high-speed accidents they would defeat the in-built safety features of the car resulting in serious and fatal injuries to the passengers.