A Judgement passed by the Rajasthan High Court that has left people dumbfounded, states that all light motor vehicle driving licenses that were issued to illiterate people should be cancelled.
The genesis of this order commenced when a writ petition was filed by a person seeking license to drive transport vehicle on the grounds that a license had been issued to him to drive a light motor vehicle about thirteen years ago.
When the notice was being taken into consideration, the Single Bench of the Rajasthan High Court observed and noticed that even though the petitioner was illiterate, a driving license was granted to him. It was then opined that the Motor Vehicle Rules should be framed in such a manner that they should benefit not only the license seekers but also keep in mind the safety of the general public who use the roads. Therefore a dual objective of this manner should be achieved by the Motor Vehicle Rules.
Justice Sanjeev Prakash Sharma of the Single Bench of the Rajasthan High Court was of the view that, “The license cannot be allowed to be issued for driving any kind of vehicle to an illiterate person as he is virtually a menace for the pedestrians as he would not be in a position to understand road signs and notices of caution written on boards for human safety on the highways as well as on the roads in the cities.”
Therefore in a two page judgment, the Court ordered that, “The license of Light Motor Vehicles issued to the petitioner and similar persons also must be therefore withdrawn”
The Rajasthan High Court directed the State Transport Authorities to ensure appropriate issuance of instructions and guidelines with respect to this. The court also expressed that action should be initiated where licenses have been issued to people who cannot read and write.
Therefore the Court has emphasised the need for proper guidelines as the Central Motor Vehicle Rules do not prescribe any minimum requisite educational qualifications needed for obtaining and possessing a driving license for a light motor vehicle. Transport license is the only one where a minimum educational requirement of having studied till Class VII is stated.
However what must be observed is that the Court herein did not base it’s judgment on any empirical data nor did it show any kind of association link between rise in the number of accidents that are caused by the illiterate drivers.
In 2017, the Hon’ble Supreme Court ordered that driver holding of a Light Motor Vehicle license can drive such a vehicle without any extra endorsement to drive a transport vehicle. Therefore this judgment by the Rajasthan High Court which has stated to withdraw the licenses of all the illiterate drivers shall massively impact the all those people whose livelihood is dependent on driving such light motor vehicles such as auto-rickshaws, cabs, etc.
Judgment Link-Deepak Singh V State of Rajasthan