A division bench comprising Justice N Kirubakaran (since retired) and Justice N Thamilselvi said though the engine technology has gotten better and road infrastructure has improved, there was no improvement in compliance of the road rules by the motorists.
“Having known that overspeeding is the main cause for road accidents, taking away the precious lives of people and causing damage to properties, the decision taken by the Union government as reflected in the notification dated April 6, 2018, is liable to be quashed,” the bench held.
Directing the Union government to issue consequential notification reducing the speed limit, the court also recorded that the report released by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways showed that more number of road accident were due to overspeeding. It then cited data regarding accidents due to overspeeding in 2017 (66.7%), 2018 (55.73%) and 2019 (64.4%).
Also, as the State government had failed to respond on the reduction of speed limits, the court also directed the State Government to issue notification with regard to the speed limit as per the earlier notification dated August 5,2014, taking note of the quashing of the central notification.
The bench added that though the matter arises under the Motor Vehicles Act, it invoked Article 226 of the Constitution suo motu after taking note of the case of a dentist sustaining spinal cord injury leaving her unable to do any work on her own and making her dependent on others for the rest of her life.