The first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P D Audikesavalu before whom the plea moved by the manufactures challenging the ban as well as PILs seeking to implement the ban, said, “At the end of the day there appears that the notification banning the fitting of crash guards and bull bars have been done in public interest and the court would not easily intervene unless it finds the policy to be absurd or objectionable to the meanest mind.” Also, recording the State government’s submission that it has accepted the unions instruction and has enforced the prohibition in such regard in TN, the bench said, “It is hoped that the enforcement is across the board and the so-called important persons are not exempted from the rules.”
However, the bench on accounting for the submission of manufacturer that such crash guards or bull bars and not made of steel, held that the order will not prevent manufactures of crash guards making such representation to the union and the same could be considered in proper perspective if the material used in the manufacture of crash gauds are indicated in the representation.
The bench also recorded the petitioner’s submission that cars armed with heavy duty crash guards encourage the drivers to indulge in wanton rash driving. “These petitioners suggest that driver of a car without crash guards remains vary that any frontal collision may result in physical damage to the driver but drivers in cars fitted with crash guards have additional confidence that they may be protected and the engine will not crumble and this will encourage irresponsible conduct including speeding,” the bench recorded.
“To the extent that crash guards add to the length of the car and it alters the basic feature of the car, there appears to be sufficient basis in the issuance of the impugned notice banning the use of such crash guards and bull bars,” the bench added.
The manufacturers of bull bars contended that no scientific study had been conducted to conclude that crash guards or harmful either to pedestrian or vehicle passengers and it is only a add on facility, with no alteration being done to the vehicle.