2-wheeler makers must give helmets
The Supreme Court has made it mandatory for two-wheeler manufacturers to supply helmets that conform to the Bureau of India Standards while selling scooters and motorbikes to customers.
The helmets will be sold through the dealers.
A bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi on Wednesday dismissed a petition filed by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) that had sought reversal of a Delhi High Court judgment giving the direction.
The bench said helmets were for the safety of customers and declined to entertain the plea that the order would force customers to have a collection of helmets.
“The high court judgment obliges a customer to purchase a helmet whenever he buys a new two-wheeler. This is despite the fact whether he possesses one or not,” contended senior advocate P.S. Patwalia, appearing for SIAM. He added the direction amounted to legislation.
To this, the bench said in a lighter vein: “There is no harm in having more than one helmet. It comes handy in situations such as taking part in protests, dharnas or even defending oneself during a fight with wife.”
The court added it was improper for it to interfere in an order that was meant for a public cause.
The Delhi High Court had on July 30, 2009, directed two-wheeler manufacturers to start selling helmets along with the vehicles. The direction came on a public interest litigation that asked the court to give directions to the companies to comply with one of the provisions of Motor Vehicles Act that mandates supply of helmets.