The recent ruling by the Supreme Court of India on vehicle modifications has caused an uproar among auto enthusiast across the country. Among the various state MVDs, the Kerala MVD (Motor Vehicles Department) has been the most active in implying this rule and has impounded several cars and bikes till date. Called as operation ‘Freaken’ by the state MVD, more than 65 vehicles have already been captured under this drive. In a recent incident in the city of Kochi, Kerala, Poice arrested 15 youths for protesting against the drive to curb vehicle modification. The video below by Bikers Heaven shows footage of the protests and the later arrests made by the Kerala police.
The video shows youths walking down the streets shouting slogans like ‘save modification’. Later in the video, 15 of them were taken into police custody and later released on bail. According to the police, the meet organized by the youths against the motor vehicles department’s (MVD) crackdown on vehicles created a public nuisance and blocked traffic in the area, which was the High Court Junction area to be particular. A central Police officer said
“The youths had apparently gathered in the city with the intention of breaking the rules. We are checking whether they have any criminal antecedents,”
According to reports, a group of youngsters with full riding kit reached the High Court Junction on their bikes with the intention to stage a protest against the SC verdict and the implementation of the same by MVD. Upon reaching Chathiyath Road, they were confronted by the police. the report further adds that the youths created a ruckus at Queen’s Walkway when they saw a police team. While most of these youngsters managed to get away, police got hold of 15 of them and booked them under Section 279 of the IPC for rash driving. As mentioned earlier, they were later given bail and made free.
The decision of restricting vehicle modification has not gone down very well with the country’s auto enthusiasts crowd. The Supreme Court verdict states that vehicles registered under Section 52(1) of the Motor Vehicle Act must strictly adhere to the original specifications of the manufacturer. While modifications to a vehicle’s structural composition and other functional changes like engine swap among others were banned previously also, this new ruling has made almost any time of change made on a car as illegal. The MVD is giving a time period of around 15 days to the owners of modified vehicles to get them back to stock condition lest the vehicles being impounded by the department.
Looking at the bigger picture, this has not only affected the current modified vehicle owners and other auto enthusiasts but also a fairly large industry which is spread nation wise. There have been cases of police busting modified bikes from college auto shows as some reports suggesting that the MVD is now keeping an eye on the social media to impound the modified vehicles being posted there. The reason behind the Supreme Court’s ruling can be the fact that over the top modifications lead to safety compromises of both the car occupants as well as to the others on road. However, banning anything completely is not an accurate solution, especially when it involves the sentiments and livelihood of so many people. The government/Court can place some guidelines and restrictions regarding modification and this seems to be the best possible solution of this issue at the current time.