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Order to carry original driving licence put on hold, but deadline looms

The Madras High Court today directed the Tamil Nadu government not to implement till September 5 its notification making it mandatory for drivers of all vehicles to carry original driving licence.

A few days ago, the rule to carry original driving licenses was made mandatory.

City police had announced strict action against anyone not carrying them original licenses from September 1.

K Aswin, State co-ordinator of Justice for Denials Association, had filed a PIL, pointing out that there was no such stipulation in the Motor Vehicles Act, and that it was absurd to assume that carrying the original license will reduce the number of road accidents.

Earlier, the Judge asked the AG to consider the hardship of drivers, particularly two-wheeler riders, and said that any law should not cause hardship to the public.

He was hearing a petition by Tamil Nadu Lorry Owners Federation seeking to forbid the authorities from insisting that the motorists carry their original driving licence.

He later tagged the petition to a public interest litigation (PIL) on the same matter listed before a division bench for hearing on September 4.

“The submission of AG is recorded and it is made clear that the authorities shall not implement the notification till September 5. Post the writ petition along with the PIL before the Division Bench,” he said in his order.

Rule 139 of Motor Vehicle Rules did not mandate the drivers to carry the original driving licence with them.

He said usually the original driving licence would be deposited by the drivers with their employers and they carry a true copy while plying the vehicles.

He said it would lead to a chaotic situation in transport industry.

The advocate general said as per Section 130 of Central Motor Vehicle Act, a person who drives the vehicle shall carry the driving license issued by the competent authority and not a photocopy of it.

He submitted that a Supreme Court-appointed committee which had gone through various aspects had come to the conclusion that drivers should carry the original licence.

When the judge said if a two-wheeler rider carries the original licence in his pocket it can get wet during rain, the AG said the licence may be kept in a plastic cover.


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