Utkarsh Trivedi, a 4th year student of National Law University Odisha, has filed a PIL at the Delhi High Court through his advocate, Satyam Singh Rajput, for the suspension of issuance of challans through Red Light Violation Detection Cameras, as it instils a fear in the drivers ahead of an ambulance, on the road and hence do not move ahead to give way to the ambulance, especially during the current pandemic.
The petitioner has relied upon a news article by the Print Media Agency which reported that there have been several cases of Ambulances linining up to enter the hospitals and a person being declared brought dead after several hospitals turned him down. In such a situation, where hospital beds are being occupied by the minute, spending precious minutes lining up at a traffic light by ambulances is problematic.
Advocate Satyam Rajput has argued that s. 136A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 which provides for the usage of electronic devices on the roads for issuance of violations needs to be suspended, for the purposes of Challan issuance on the Traffic Light. The Vehicles stationed in front of an Ambulance carrying a patient loses crucial time, waiting for the traffic light to turn green, when it clearly has a Right of Way under Regulation 27 of the Motor Vehicles (Driving) Regulations, 2017. However, s. 194E of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 also punishes those vehicles which do not give way to an Ambulance, while on the road, therefore, the driver is in the position of committing either of the two offences, either Stop Line/Traffic light jump violation or blocking the way of an Ambulance, while on the road.
The petitioner in his plea has further stated that,
“The Hon’ble Supreme Court in Bandhua Mukti Morcha vs. Union of India (UOI) and Ors, AIR 1984 SC 802 has held that “This right to live with human dignity enshrined in Article 21 derives its life breath from the Directive Principles of State Policy and particularly Clauses (e) and (f) of Article 39 and Articles 41 and 42 and at the least, therefore, it must include protection of the health and strength of workers men and women, and of the tender age of children against abuse, opportunities and facilities for children to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity, educational facilities, just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief.”
The petitioner had written to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Commissioner of Police Delhi and Spl Commissioner of Police, Traffic, as well ;however no response was received.
The Petitioner has sought the following reliefs –
(a) Issue directions to Respondent No. 1 to suspend the usage of the Traffic Light Violation Cameras under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 till the situation in Delhi gets better;
(b) Issue directions to Respondent No. 2 and 3 to ensure that Ambulances at traffic lights are given utmost priority;
(c) Pass such further orders as may be deemed fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the present case.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh will be taking up the matter on 11th May, 2021.