Compulsory helmet: Badnore refuses to exempt non-turbaned Sikh women

Badnore told the Akali delegation that the decision was taken on the directions of the high court, and if they want any relief they should move court.

punjab Updated: Jul 10, 2018 13:32 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh,Compulsory helmet
(Representative Image)

UT administrator VP Singh Badnore on Monday refused to except the Akali demand to exempt non-turbaned Sikh women from wearing helmets.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)’s local unit president Hardeep Singh Buterla along with representatives of other Sikh organisations met Badnore on Monday to demand withdrawal of the UT administration’s notification — making helmets compulsory for all women except turbaned Sikh women — or exempt women who have the surname Kaur.

Badnore told the delegation that the decision has been taken on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana high court, and if they want any relief they should move court.

Akalis to protest on July 12

The SAD has now decided to hold a protest against the decision after holding a meeting on July 12.

“The decision is not acceptable,” said Buterla. “Amending the Chandigarh Motor Vehicle Rules, 1990, will hurt sentiments of Sikhs. We will not allow this to happen.”

The high court had restricted the exemption from wearing helmets only to “Sikhs wearing turban while driving” in 1998 as well. However, it met with resistance from Sikh bodies and city witnessed protests. Sikh bodies argued that their tenets forbid the wearing of any cap. In 2004, the Supreme Court too ruled that the state has powers to relax rules in a particular area. Following this, Chandigarh relaxed the norms and exempted all women.

However, after the high court took up the matter last December, the UT issued a fresh notification on July 6.

Meanwhile, UT senior superintendent of police Shashank Anand said no woman violating the new rule will be challaned for at least two to three weeks. The department will carry out awareness drives during this period. Later, for the first offence, the challan will be for ₹300 and for second time it will ₹600. For further offence, the licence will be cancelled.

First Published: Jul 10, 2018 13:18 IST