HC order banning titles, designation on vehicles yet to be properly enforced

Advocate M Sarangan, who appeared for Ramesh before the Madurai Bench of Madras HC pointed out that action against the usage of designation plates, unauthorised number plates and materials on cars should be taken by the road transport officials and police.
HC order banning titles, designation on vehicles yet to be properly enforced
Representative image

CHENNAI: Even though the Madras High Court had passed several directions to the State and its law enforcement agencies to check the usage of designated number plates, stickers, and unauthorised usage of government emblems on the cars, the orders are yet to be followed in letter and spirit, allege activists and advocates.

On August 19, 2021, a division bench of Madras HC comprising Justice N Kirubakaran and Justice B Pugalenthi passed an order restraining people from using designation plates, portraits/photos of political and communal leaders, and tinted glasses.

The direction was passed by the bench on disposing of public interest litigation filed by Advocate V Ramesh who sought a direction to Dr Ambedkar Law University and the state government to take action against people who are using the unauthorised stickers on two-wheelers and cars.

Ramesh said the bench passed the order on the ground that using such stickers, designation plates, political/communal flags and portraits on cars and vehicles is ultra vires to Section 177 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1989.

“The judgment was passed after the DGP filed a counter affidavit that the policemen in the field are reluctant to check the vehicles having designation plates, political/communal flags and portraits, stickers like Army, Press and advocates. However, such practices are still continuing across the State and need to be fixed as people indulging in such acts are influencing and disturbing the law enforcement agencies from discharging their duties,” he said.

Ramesh further recalled an order passed by Justice SM Subramaniam in another case restraining people from using national emblems in cars by unauthorised people.

The lawyer also noted that he has been struggling against the illegal stickers and designation boards for the past 12 years. “I was even assaulted for getting an order against the usage of illegal stickers and unauthorised plates. However, it is disheartening to note that the violation prevails still now,” Ramesh worried.

Advocate M Sarangan, who appeared for Ramesh before the Madurai Bench of Madras HC pointed out that action against the usage of designation plates, unauthorised number plates and materials on cars should be taken by the road transport officials and police.

“While we proceeded with the case in 2021, the police informed the HC that about 28,862 cases were booked in 2018 for using defective number plates, and 44,000 cases in 2017. However, such violations are still continuing. There are cases of people who use such designation plates, political party flags involved in unlawful activities,” said Sarangan.

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