The Delhi high court on Wednesday disposed of a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking to make helmet wearing compulsory for pillion riders irrespective of their gender and religion, after the city government informed it that motor vehicle rules would be amended to make it compulsory for women to wear helmets.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice AK Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw granted two months’ time to the government for making necessary amendments in the Delhi Motor Vehicle Rules 1993.
The Delhi government submitted before the court that although a central law like the Motor Vehicle Act has made it mandatory for women to wear helmets while riding pillion, the Delhi government had made it optional in its Rule in 1993 and now it has decided to consider Rule 115 again and make necessary amendments.
The court was hearing the plea filed by Ulhas, who claimed to be a social film maker. The plea challenged a provision in the Delhi Motor Vehicles Rules which exempts women from wearing helmets when riding pillion.
Challenging the exemption to women, the petitioner said there should be a uniform law for all people, irrespective of their caste, creed, gender and religion.
According to the Motor Vehicle Act and rules, Sikhs wearing turbans and women are exempted from wearing helmets while riding motor-cycles and scooters.
The petitioner submitted that at the intervention of this very court, the city government had framed rules making headgear mandatory for two-wheeler drivers and pillion riders, but Sikh men have been exempted.
“Every year, about 60 to 70 women die due to head injuries sustained in road accidents involving two-wheelers, and the government should make wearing helmets compulsory for all pillion riders as well,” the petition said.