After the Supreme Court of India passed an order earlier this year that bans any kind of modification in vehicles, the state police forces have started a crackdown on such vehicles. In a video shared on the 4X4 India Facebook group, a team of Kochi Police can be seen stopping bikers on the roads including a scooter with an aftermarket seat.
The video shows two marked vehicles of Kochi Police stopping the two-wheelers on the road. The cops from the vehicles get down in the middle of the road and start to take out the keys of the two-wheelers including scooters and motorcycles on the road. There are a few who were able to leave the spot but the short video shows cops stopping all the bikes on the road and taking out their keys. According to the video, the Kochi Police has started taking all the two-wheelers with alterations like aftermarket seats.
The Supreme Court of India in the order said that any kind of alteration in the vehicle that is different from the stock version. The Supreme Court order did not specify anything specific on the modifications that created a lot of confusion among the off-road community with a lot of protests coming from the off-road vehicle owners. It is not known if the two-wheelers seen in the video were seized or were issued a fine.
A few days back, Kerala Police reached an Auto Show hosted by a college and issued fines to ten modified bikes for modifications. The owners of these bikes were participating in the Auto Show and their bikes were put on the display. The police even fined the first prize winner of the Auto Show. The owners were asked to present their vehicles in the stock condition in the RTO for a thorough inspection and were asked to bring all the documents related to the two-wheelers. All the bike owners were asked to revert the modified bikes to the stock condition.
Kerala has one of the highest numbers of modified vehicles in India. There are many who have resisted the new order and have also protested silently against the new rule. However, no official statement was issued by the authorities on the matter.
Modification of vehicles is not very popular in India when compared to the developed countries. Until now, there was no specific ruling against the modification but with the new order, all kind of modifications have been banned now. In many international markets, the modification of vehicles is legal if it is done in accordance with the rules. In India, modified vehicles have been tested for road-worthiness by RTO, which is a very long process and require a lot of money. In the near future, we can expect more such crackdowns on modified vehicles around India.