When the plea moved by the manufactures challenging the ban and also PILs seeking to implement the ban came for hearing, the first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice PD Audikesavalu said, “At the end of the day, there appears that the notification banning the fitting of crash guards and bull bars has 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 Union government’s instruction and has enforced the prohibition in Tamil Nadu, 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.”
Accounting for the submission by manufacturers that such crash guards or bull bars are not made of steel, the bench held that the order would not prevent manufactures of crash guards making such representation to the Union government and the same could be considered in proper perspective if the material used in the manufacture of crash gauds were indicated in the representation.
The bench also recorded the petitioner’s submission that cars with heavy-duty crash guards encouraged 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 alters the basic feature of the car, there appears to be sufficient basis in the issuance of the impugned notice banning the use of crash guards and bull bars,” the bench added.
The manufacturers contended that no scientific study had been conducted to conclude that crash guards were harmful either to pedestrians or passengers and that it was only an add-on facility with no alteration being done to the vehicle.