The Madras High Court has expressed displeasure over non-implementation of orders related to mandatory wearing of helmets by two-wheeler and pillion riders despite the lapse of over an year, and sought an explanation from the Tamil Nadu government. It also asked the state director general of police to furnish the details of number of accident cases in which the rider and pillion rider were not wearing helmets and details of fatalities reported in every district headquarters hospital.
A bench comprising Justices S Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad, hearing a PIL on Tuesday, referred to the first interim order passed by the court on July 5 last year. "Now, more than a year is over. The instant writ petition was filed during April last year. Hence, the secretary to the government, Home and Prohibition Department, Chennai, is directed to explain as to why the orders of this court have not been implemented," it said.
The bench also directed the Director of Medical Education (DME) to submit the number of accidents involving two wheelers and fatal cases due to head injuries. Petitioner K K Rajendran has sought a direction to the government to implement the Motor Vehicle Act provisions that make compulsory wearing of helmet by two-wheeler and pillion riders.
The court further said despite reminders, authorities were not issuing orders as directed by it for empowering special sub-inspectors of police to discharge the duties and functions of SI (Traffic) for effective enforcement of rules on wearing helmets. Referring to an order issued by the state government in 2007, the judges observed, it had then said the rule related to mandatory wearing of helmet by two-wheeler riders would be implemented in a phased manner within a year, but it had taken nearly 12 years now.
Though the government submitted, it was sensitising people on the benefits of wearing helmets and the law that made it mandatory, the efforts did not appear to have given the desired result throughout the state, except in Chennai, the bench said. Police cannot repeat the same submission in the court whenever the matter was listed and it would only reflect that orders had not been implemented effectively, it added. The court made it clear if the details sought from the DGP and DME were not furnished, it would be constrained to issue "appropriate orders" against those who were not implementing the judicial orders.