The Bombay High Court on Tuesday rapped the Maharashtra government, saying it should stop making a mockery of court orders and decide whether it wanted to strictly implement the Motor Vehicles Act provisions pertaining to fitness certificates of vehicles.
A division bench of justices A S Oka and A K Menon said it had passed several orders in the past in a public interest litigation raising the issue of non-compliance of rules by the Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) while issuing fitness certificates for vehicles or renewing the same.
"We have been passing orders asking the government to take the rules for fitness checks of vehicles seriously but in vain. The government seems to be taking it very lightly and casually. This amounts to a mockery of our orders," the high court said.
It was time the Maharashtra government took a decision on whether it proposed to strictly implement provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act pertaining to fitness certificates and stop making a mockery of court orders, the court said.
The bench was today informed by the petitioner, Shrikanth Karve, that an officer posted at a border post in Solapur was coming to the RTO in Pune and issuing fitness certificates without any authority.
"He charges Rs 5,000 per vehicle. This is being going on since May this year," the petitioner alleged. "Has any senior officer looked into the records of the Pune RTO? How can a random person barge into a RTO office and unauthorisedly check vehicles and grant them fitness certificates? This has been going on since May this year," the court said.
"The vehicles that this person has checked and granted fitness certificates to...are these vehicles still plying on the roads? What if tomorrow there is an accident and lives are lost? Who will be held responsible?" Justice Oka said. The court asked the senior most officer of the state transport department to look into the matter and file a report on November 16.