HC stays Karnataka govt's decision to ban pillion on 100 cc bikes

Those with 100 cc bikes can breathe easy and take a pillion rider along with them.

The court also stayed the notifications, issued on October 23, 2017, banning registration of new two-wheelers below 100 cc that have a pillion seat, and prohibiting use of such two-wheelers with pillion seats that are already registered prior to October 23.

The transport department, following a prod from the court, issued the notification last month to implement a clause in the Karnataka Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, which bans pillion seats on vehicles with engine capacity of 100 cc or below. The order was passed by the Karnataka High Court based on a petition that was filed by two-wheeler manufacturers, TVS Motor Corporation and Hero MotoCorp.

We did try and to speak to the two-wheeler manufactures regarding the government rule and the High Court stay order. According to the petitioners, the authority to frame and change a rule rests with the Central government.

Earlier, counsel for the petitioner-companies had contended that the State had no power to regulate the design of two-wheelers as this power is vested with the Union government, which has enacted MV Rules, 1989, setting standards for different types of motor vehicles. Apparently, it only came to the State Government's notice in 2015, when the Karnataka High Court has had asked the government to enforce the law after it made a ruling in a motor vehicle accident case. The judge granted the stay after the state government informed the court that they would consider amending the rule.

Justice BV Nagarathna stayed the operation of the Rule 143 (3) of the Karnataka Motor Vehicles (KMV) Rules, 1989, which states, "No pillion seat shall be attached to a motor-cycle with less than 100 cc engine". The court had only noticed the existence of Rule 143 (3) in the rulebook without considering the constitutional validity of the rule formulated in 1989, the report adds.

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