It takes five to 10 minutes to inspect a vehicle for issuance of fitness certificate, the state government told the Bombay high court on Monday.
However, the petitioner told the court that according to a reply received from the Automotive Research Association of India, an industrial research association with the ministry of industries, it takes up to 30 minutes per vehicle.
Taking serious note of this dichotomy, the court has now sought a reply from the state on the matter, observing that ‘public safety depends on the fitness of vehicles.’
The court was hearing a petition filed by Shrikant Karve, who has sought that proper permission be followed while issuing fitness certificates. Karve has also said that action should be taken against those officers in the Regional Transport Offices (RTO) that flout rules.
A division bench of justice DD Sinha and justice VK Tahilramani said that issuing certificates without proper inspection puts citizens in danger.“Physical fitness is the basic thing,” the court said.
An affidavit filed by the transport commissioner also revealed the manpower crunch in RTOs. The affidavit, filed, through assistant government pleader Nitin Deshpande, said that around 240 vehicles approach the Pune RTO everyday to obtain fitness certificates, and are attended to by just 27 inspectors.
It further said that fitness certificates have to be renewed every two years, and 2,798 vehicles in the state on an average approach RTOs for renewal of certificates everyday. The court noted that the staff was not adequate to cater to a large number of vehicles.
“No certificate should be issued unless proper inspection is carried out,” the court said.
In view of vacancies in the RTO, the court also asked the state to reply on whether additional posts can be made and vacancies filled up.