The Indian government has revealed that both the car owners using bullbars on their vehicles, and the dealer who fits it to the vehicle are liable to be penalized. A fine of Rs. 1,000 will be levied on owner for using a bullbar on her/his car or SUV. Subsequent offences will attract a fine of Rs. 2,000. The government has also highlighted that dealers who sell/import cars fitted with bullbars will also be penalized if such vehicles are found to be running on Indian roads with these illegal accessories. Dealers who sell cars fitted with bullbars will also be penalized with a fine of Rs. 5,000.
The Section 190 of the Indian Motor Vehicle Act deals with owners using bullbars on cars and SUVs. It reads as follows,
any person who drives or causes or allows to be driven, in any public place a motor vehicle, which violates the standards prescribed in relation to road safety, control of noise and air-pollution, shall be punishable for the first offence with a fine of Rs 1,000 and for any second or subsequent offence with a fine of Rs 2,000.
Section 191 of the Indian Motor Vehicle Act deals with the penalty that can be imposed on dealers,
Whoever being an importer of or dealer in motor vehicles, sells or delivers or offers to sell or deliver a motor vehicle or trailer in such condition that the use thereof in a public place would be in contravention of Chapter VII or any rule made thereunder or alters the motor vehicle or trailer so as to render its conditions such that its use in a public place would be in contravention of Chapter VII or any rule made thereunder shall be punishable with fine which may extend to Rs 5,000.
Both these sections need to be read with the Section 52 of the Motor Vehicle Act, which states that,
No owner of a motor vehicle shall so alter the vehicle that the particulars contained in the certificate of registration are at variance with those originally specified by the manufacturer.
As bull-bars are not fitted at the factory by car makers, and are not homologated, they are considered to be an illegal modification unless explicitly endorsed by the RTO on the registration certificate (RC) of the modified vehicle. Notably, bull-bars have always been illegal going by the wording of the Section 52 of the Motor Vehicle Act, which has been in place for many decades now. However, it is only now that the Government of India has sent a letter to all transport commissioners of India’s states, asking them to crack down on this extremely popular accessory.