With eye on polls, Maharashtra government stays hefty fines for traffic violations

Updated: Sep 12, 2019, 09:35 IST | Dharmendra Jore

At a press conference on Wednesday, Raote said Maharashtra had conveyed its concern to the Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari requesting him to reduce the penalty amount. He said the Act would not be enforced till Gadkari responds

With eye on polls, Maharashtra government stays hefty fines for traffic violations
The image has been used for representational purposes only

Fearing public backlash ahead of the Assembly polls, the state govt has stayed the new provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 2019, till further notice. This means violators will pay penalties as per old provisions. The Centre's decision to steeply hike the fines during the amendment of the Act has come under public scrutiny. Subsequently, the state government was bashed for imposing heavy fines for traffic offences.

As states do not need to follow the Centre in toto and can revise provisions at their legislative discretion, Maharashtra, too, wanted to use its say in the matter. Transport Minister Diwakar Raote had earlier expressed displeasure over the unaffordable penalty amounts. He had warned that this would give rise to corruption in the police and transport departments. Raote had said offenders and enforcement officers would prefer to settle the matter for bribes instead.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Raote said Maharashtra had conveyed its concern to the Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari requesting him to reduce the penalty amount. He said the Act would not be enforced till Gadkari responds.

"We want the Centre to decide. Till then we will remain neutral. We will not issue a notification from our side. The offenders if charged at new rates may appeal before the court," he said. Gadkari has been supporting the legislation, asking people to respect the law. However, his staunch supporter and chairman of state-run farmers welfare corporation, Kishor Tiwari has slammed the Act. He said the new penalty, if imposed, would make people commit suicide because they won't be able to pay up when they don't earn enough.

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