Shimoga Bus Owners Association … vs Union Government And Ors. on 25 November, 2004

Karnataka High Court
Shimoga Bus Owners Association … vs Union Government And Ors. on 25 November, 2004
Equivalent citations: ILR 2005 KAR 5018, 2005 (1) KarLJ 574
Author: M Shantanagoudar
Bench: M Shantanagoudar


ORDER

Mohan Shantanagoudar, J.

1. The petitioners have sought for striking down the amendment to Rule 118 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 Gazetted on 31-5-2003 and for consequential relief of quashing the notification issued by the 2nd respondent directing to fix the speed governors to the particular types of vehicles.

2. The learned Counsel for the petitioners submits that under Section 110(1)(f) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, the power is given to the Central Government to make rules relating to speed governors. Accordingly, Rule 118 was framed by the Central Government relating to speed governors; that the Central Government cannot delegate its powers to the State Government on the said aspect. On the said basis, he submits that the amendment to the Rule 118 and consequent notification vide Annexure-B are bad in law.

3. Rule 118 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, prior to its amendment reads thus:

“Speed governor.-(1) On and from the commencement of this rule, such transport vehicles as may be notified by the Central Government in the Official Gazette shall be fitted by the operator of such transport vehicle with a speed governor (speed controlling device) (confirming to the Standard AIS:018, as amended from time to time in such a manner that the speed governor can be sealed with an official seal of the State Transport Authority or a Regional Transport Authority in such a way that it cannot be removed or tampered with or without the seal being broken.

(2) The speed governor of every transport vehicle shall be so set that the vehicle is incapable of being driven at a speed in excess of the maximum pre-set speed of the vehicle except down an incline”.

Rule 118 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 is amended with effect from 31-5-2003. The said amendment reads thus:

“In the Rule 118 of the said rules, in Sub-rule (1), for the words “the Central Government”, the words “the State Government” shall be substituted”.

4. Amendment makes it clear that the words “the Central Government” are substituted by the words “the State Government” by virtue of the amendment. Thus by virtue of amended rule, the State Government is empowered to notify in the Official Gazette specifying particular class of transport vehicles to be fitted with the speed governors (speed controlling device).

5. The contention of the learned Counsel for the petitioners is that the power to make rules with regard to the speed governors is under exclusive domain of Central Government and therefore the Central Government cannot delegate its power to the State Government. This contention cannot be accepted inasmuch as under Section 110 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, the power is given to the Central Government to make rules pertaining to speed governors. Thus, it is open for the Central Government to frame such rules as in the interest of public. The Central Government in its wisdom has framed Rule 118 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989. By virtue of the amendment, the words “the Central Government” are substituted by “the State Government”. In this view of the matter, it cannot be said that the amendment of Rule 118 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 is beyond the rule making power of the Central Government. On the contrary, the amended rule is intra vires of Motor Vehicles Act. Thus the same is valid in law.

6. In view of the above, the consequent notification dated 21-8-2004 issued by the State Government vide Annexure-B also cannot be said to be erroneous or illegal. Hence, the following order is made:

Writ petitions are dismissed. I place on record the fair submissions and the assistance rendered by the learned Counsel for the petitioner.

Learned High Court Government Pleader is permitted to file his memo of appearance within three weeks from today.

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