The Delhi High Court on Friday issued a notice to the Delhi Government on a petition seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against it for not amending the rules to make helmets compulsory for women riding two-wheeler in Delhi within the time specified by it.
The court has asked the Delhi chief secretary to respond by December 14 to a contempt of court petition filed by social filmmaker Ulhas PR.
The deadline set by the court for the government to take a decision on making helmets compulsory for women expired on June 25, 2012.
On April 25, the court had recorded the statement of a government lawyer, who had said that the issue was being "relooked" into by the transport department and necessary amendment to Rule 115 (2) of the Delhi Motor Vehicles Rules will be made after holding discussions with all the stakeholders.
The rule had made helmets optional for women.
The court had given the government two months' time.
"I was forced to move a contempt petition as the government has kept mum despite the court's direction. I have information from the transport department that the government has decided to keep the issue in cold storage. But they are answerable to the court," Ulhas had said.
A day after it assured the high court that it would consider amending the rules to make helmets mandatory for women, the government did a U-turn.
The transport department had said that the motor vehicle rules make it optional for women to wear a helmet and it intends to keep it that way. But the government is yet to inform the court about it.
According to sources, the government is in no mood to stir up a controversy, given the sensitivities of the Sikh community on the helmet issue. This means that the government stands by Rule 115(2) of the Delhi Motor Vehicles Rules, 1993, which empowered it to make helmets optional for women and has no plans to amend it.