Taking a final stand on the issue, the Delhi government on Friday told the Delhi High Court that it does not intend to make helmets compulsory for women on two wheelers, keeping in mind the sensitivities of the Sikh community.
“A meeting was held with all the stakeholders and it was found that the objection is from Sikh women. Therefore, imposing helmets on all women becomes a sensitive issue,” an affidavit filed by Rajesh Sakkarwal, deputy commissioner of the transport department, said.
“(The) transport ministry is of the opinion that we should continue with the exemption granted to women and keep it optional,” added Sakkarwal.
The court will take up the affidavit for hearing on January 14 and pronounce its stand.
The affidavit came in response to a contempt petition filed against the government by one Ulhas PR, a social filmmaker. He said in his petition that the government had not amended the rules to make helmets compulsory for women within the deadline set by the court which ended on June 25, 2012.
The court had on April 25, 2012 recorded government's statement that the issue was being relooked by the transport department. The court had then given the government two months to undertake the task.
“The government’s decision after an earlier assurance is unfortunate. I have statistics to prove that at least 20 more women two-wheeler riders died after the last court hearing in July as they did not wear helmets. I will raise the issue in the court on January 14, the next date of hearing and challenge the affidavit,” Ulhas told HT.