In a significant step to rein in the notorious call centre cabs, the Delhi High Court on Thursday gave green signal to Delhi Police to impound and cancel permits of speeding cabs.
The cab owners, mostly from Gurgaon and Faridabad, had moved the court challenging notifications by the police fixing the speed limit of their vehicles at 40 kmph. Terming such curbs as illegal, they contended the cabs were Light Motor Vehicles, and the maximum speed limit for such type of vehicles was 65 Kmph.
But the court upheld Delhi Police counsel Mukta Gupta's contention that such rule was applicable only for light motor vehicles meant for personal use and not for cabs used to ferry employees.
“Call centre cabs are indeed involved in large number of traffic violations…. On a factual basis, there appears to be a reasonable nexus between the speed limit stipulated by notifications and the legitimate aim of ensuring safe driving,” said the judges dismissing the cab owners’ petition.
Referring to statistics submitted by the police, Chief Justice A.P. Shah and S. Muralidhar said cab owners argument that their vehicles were hardly involved in accidents compared to private vehicles “does not appear to be correct”.
As per the figures, 7,033 cabs were challaned in 2008. Out of this, 1,198 were fined for dangerous driving and 1,658 were fined for driving without a speed governor. The court noted that “there was clear deterioration in the situation” as the number of challans in 2007 was 4,726. “Therefore, the fixing of the speed limit of 40 kmph is not unreasonable or arbitrary,” said the court.
The cabs have, of late, become a menace in the city. Many of these vehicles have to cover great distances at odd hours. They are often driven rashly and pose a threat to other road users. The police notifications came following a high court direction in October last year.