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In this blogpost, Arjun Natarajan, a litigator, writes on Delhi government’s second edition of odd-even rule. Earlier, he had written on the first edition of this rule, which can be read by visiting http://blog.ipleaders.in/delhi-government-odd-even-rule-punishment-for-violation-of-rule/. Readers are requested to read this blogpost, in conjunction with the earlier blogpost. 

Time flies. January seems like yesterday, when Delhi’s streets were dotted with odd vehicles on odd dates between 1 January 2016 and 15 January 2016 and with even vehicles on even dates between 1 January 2016 and 15 January 2016. That was the first edition of odd-even rule, which was by virtue of a Notification dated 28 December 2015, issued by Government of National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi.

Here we are, in April. Odd-even rule is all set to return.

Government of NCT of Delhi’s recent Notification dated 11 April 2016, i.e., new odd-even Notification, is popularly called ‘odd-even rule – round 2’. It is available in English and in Hindi, on http://it.delhigovt.nic.in/writereaddata/egaz20167549.pdf. Do read it.

In this blogpost, I shall refer to this notification as ‘new odd-even Notification’. It comes into force on 15 April 2016 and it shall remain in force till 30 April 2016.

New odd-even Notification is largely the same as the earlier odd-even Notification. In this blogpost I intend to merely touch upon those aspects of new odd-even Notification which are different from Notification dated 28 December 2015, causing the first edition of odd-even rule.

What’s new?

Schedule to new odd-even Notification mentions 28 categories. Do take a look at the schedule, to get a complete understanding of the vehicles of the categories, as mentioned in the Schedule.

As per Schedule to new odd-even Notification, the exemptions which are relevant to us, in our capacity as people who drive on the streets of Delhi are the same as the ones in the earlier odd-even Notification, as detailed in my previous blogpost. However, new odd-even Notification additionally exempts vehicles carrying child/children in school uniform.

A car with an odd registration number can ply on an even date, if it is carrying a child or children, who is/are in school uniform/s. Similarly, a car with an even registration number can ply on an odd date, if it is carrying a child or children, who is/are in school uniform/s. Irrespective of whether the car is being driven by a man or a woman, if the car has a child or children, who is/are in school uniform/s, then, the car is outside the purview of new odd-even Notification.

The following officers could compound violations of the earlier odd-even Notification:

Officers of the rank of Head Constable and above of Delhi Police.

Officers of the rank of Head Constables and above of the Transport Department, Government of NCT of Delhi.

Officers or authorities as authorised by Divisional Commissioner, Revenue Department, Government of NCT of Delhi.

As per new odd-even Notification, officers or  as authorised by Divisional Commissioner, Revenue Department, Government of NCT of Delhi are also authorised to exercise the power under section 213(5)(e) of The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 to launch prosecution under section 194 of the said statute, for the offences committed in violation of new odd-even Notification and they will be deemed to be officers of Transport Department, Government of NCT of Delhi, under section 213(1) of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and rule 123 of Delhi Motor Vehicles Rules, 1993, for these purposes.

Basically, if an offender is unwilling to compound the offence, then, officers or authorities as authorised by Divisional Commissioner, Revenue Department, Government of NCT of Delhi can initiate a criminal case against him.

Be that as it may, the reliance on section 194 of The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 calls for attention. It would not be out of place to mention that, even as per the earlier odd-even Notification, violation of the same attracted a fine of Rs. 2000/- in terms of the provisions of section 194(1) of The Motor Vehicles Act 1988. Therefore, reliance on section 194 of The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 is not a creation of new odd-even Notification. However, new odd-even Notification relies on the said provision, not only in the context of punishment, but also in the context of initiating a criminal case against an offender who is unwilling to compound the offence.

Section 194(1) of The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, is as under:

“194. Driving vehicle exceeding permissible weight.(1) Whoever drives a motor vehicle or causes or allows a motor vehicle to be driven in contravention of the provisions of section 113 or section 114 or section 115 shall be punishable with minimum fine of two thousand rupees and an additional amount of one thousand rupees per tonne of excess load, together with the liability to pay charges for off-loading of the excess load.”

If we go only by the heading of section 194 of The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, then, the said provision makes it an offence, to drive a vehicle which exceeds permissible weight. It is obvious that driving a car with a registration number ending with an odd digit, on even dates of a month, does not amount to exceeding permissible weight! The same applies in relation to driving a car with a registration number ending with an even digit, on odd dates of a month.

However, if I read the said provision closely, then, I came across the following two aspects:

Firstly, it deals with the offence of driving a motor vehicle or allowing it to be driven, in contravention of the provisions of section 113 or section 114 or section 115 of The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The said offence is punishable with minimum fine of Rs. 2000/-. This offence, visibly has nothing to do with the heading, i.e., “Driving vehicle exceeding permissible weight.”

Secondly, it deals with purely the offence of driving a motor vehicle exceeding permissible weight, or, allowing such a vehicle to be driven. The said offence is punishable with minimum fine of Rs. 2000/- plus an additional amount of Rs. 1000/- per tonne of excess load plus the liability to pay charges for off-loading of the excess load. This offence can directly be connected to the heading, i.e., “Driving vehicle exceeding permissible weight.”

For the purpose of new odd-even Notification as well as the earlier odd-even Notification, we can ignore the second aspect, as it deals with exceeding permissible weight. Hence, we are only concerned with the first aspect. As per new odd-even Notification, section 115 read with section 2(41) of The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 is the source of exercise of power by the Lieutenant Governor of NCT of Delhi, to issue new odd-even Notification. Therefore, driving a car with a registration number ending with an odd digit, on even dates of a month, as well as, driving a car with a registration number ending with an even digit, on odd dates of a month, is in contravention of the provisions of section 115 of The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Thus, in terms of section 194(1) of The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, the said act is punishable with minimum fine of Rs. 2000/-.

Similarly, officers or authorities as authorised by Divisional Commissioner, Revenue Department, Government of NCT of Delhi are also authorised to exercise the power under section 213(5)(e) of The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 to launch prosecution under section 194 of the said statute, for the offences committed in violation of new odd-even Notification and they will be deemed to be officers of Transport Department, Government of NCT of Delhi, under section 213(1) of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and rule 123 of Delhi Motor Vehicles Rules, 1993, for these purposes.

On this note, I end this blogpost, hoping that odd-even rule – round 2 is more successful than the first edition of odd even rule.

 

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