One Mr. Nithin Nair posted on Facebook explaining how he was issued a challan and penalised for offering lift to unknown persons when it was raining heavily. We look at the relevant provisions of the MV act and fact check this claim.
A Facebook post by one Mr. Nithin Nair went viral a few days ago. In his post, he mentioned how the traffic police issued him a challan for giving lift to unknown persons standing on the road. He also mentioned that he was booked under Sections 66 & 192 of the Motor Vehicles act. Is giving lift to unknown persons really on offence? What does the MV act say? Here is a fact check.
What is Section 66 of the MV Act?
Section 66 of the MV act deals with the control of transport vehicles. The objects & reasons as specified in the act clearly explain what Section 66 is meant for.
Motor vehicles that are intended for commercial purpose (transport) have to get the necessary permit from the Regional Transport Authority (RTA). These are popularly known as the ‘Yellow Plate’ vehicles. In other words, using a vehicle for transport purpose without a valid permit and in violation of any of the conditions laid down in the permit is an offence as per the MV act.
At the same time, Section 66 also lays down certain exemptions like in the case of certain government vehicles, vehicles that have to be diverted to other states during natural calamities and emergency etc.
What is Section 192 of the MV Act?
Section 192 of the MV act prescribes penalties for violations committed under Section 66. In other words, this section talks about the penalties if anyone is found using a motor vehicle for commercial (transport) purpose without a valid permit or found violating the permit conditions. As per this section, the maximum penalty for the first offence is Rs 5000 and the minimum penalty is Rs 2000. In addition, a person can also be imprisoned for up to 3 months. Even in this section, certain exemptions like use of the vehicle in an emergency for the conveyance of persons suffering from sickness or injury etc. are defined, for which there will be no penalty.
What about the current case?
The person who was penalised explained in his Facebook post that he offered a lift when it was raining heavily. Unfortunately, heavy rain is not defined as an emergency situation in either of the sections of the MV act in question. Hence, the traffic police may have issued a challan. Strictly speaking, he is right as per the existing law because no person is allowed to carry passengers without a valid permit (yellow plate).
Fact Check: Will people be penalised for giving lift?
In practice, these sections are generally used for permit violations of commercial transport vehicles and in cases where private vehicles are run as taxis without a valid permit. It is very rare that a challan is issued like in the case of Mr. Nithin Nair. Please note that car pooling with friends etc. will not be treated as an offence under these sections. However, it is recommended that you do you not offer lift to unknown persons on busy junctions and at public places if you do not have a valid permit.
Featured image by Biswarup Ganguly on Wikipedia