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Madras HC upholds ban on Crash guards and bull bars in motor vehicles

- September 21, 2021

Chennai, Sept 21 (BPNS)

Madras High court on Tuesday upheld a notification issued by the central government in December 2017 prohibiting the use of crash guards and bull bars in vehicles. The court was disposing of two public interest litigation petitions  (PIL) that insisted on effective implementation of the 2017 notification banning crash guards and bull bars in vehicles.

The first bench of the Madras High court represented by Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P.D. Adikesavalu while upholding the ban order of the Union Ministry of Road Transport and highways said that the ministry appeared to have issued the notification in public interest.

The court also said that it would normally not intervene in such notifications issued in the public interest by the government unless they were absurd or objectionable.

Madras High Court also said that the drivers of the vehicles fitted with crash guards and bull boards behaved liked ‘Bullies’ on the road, especially on state and national highways.

The bench also said that the notification of the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has clearly said that fitment of crash guards or bull bars was in violation of Section 52 of the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 which prevents alterations in vehicles in variation to specifications mentioned in the registration certificate.

Advocate Ajay Francis representing one of the petitioners argued that the fitment of the crash guards changes the basic specification of a vehicle and increases its length.

The counsel also said that scientific studies had been conducted to prove that after market fitments were not safe for motorists.

Senior counsel AR.L Sundaresan appearing for the crash guard manufacturers and bull bar manufacturers said that they only provide additional safety and sought liberty to convince the centre.

The judges, accepting the plea of senior counsel for manufacturers of crash guards and bull boards said that the orders passed by them would not prevent the manufacturers from making an appropriate representation to the centre.