The Madras High Court has ruled that drivers can show vehicle documents in electronic form when demanded by police or any other official, as stated in a Union government notification last month. A division bench of Justice Dr Vineet Kothari and Justice Dr Anitha Sumanth Wednesday disposed of various petitions against a memorandum which said vehicle drivers should carry original documents including licence, after recording the notification issued by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways last month. The petitions included one filed by All India Confederation of Goods Vehicle Owners Association which challenged the memorandum issued by ADGP, State Traffic Planning Cell, on August 24, 2017 stating that persons driving without licence will be prosecuted under Sections 130 and 171 of Motor Vehicle Act.
According to the memorandum, all motor vehicle drivers shall carry the original documents, including the licence, while driving. This was challenged by social activist 'Traffic' Ramaswamy, Tamil Nadu Lorry Owners Association and Tipper Lorry Owners Association and All India Confederation of Goods Vehicle Owners Association in the high court. When the matter came up for hearing, lorry owners association submitted before the bench a copy of the notification stating that an amendment had been made to Rule 139 of Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989 with regard to production of licence and registration certificates of vehicles. The notification was addressed to the DGPs and secretaries of all the states and Union Territories.
The bench was further informed that according to the amended provision, citizens can produce transport-related documents such as registration, insurance, fitness certificates, permits, driving licence, certificate for pollution under check and any other relevant documents on demand by any police official or any other official in physical or electronic form. This would enable use of digital platforms for carrying and verification of the documents, the notification said.