‘Ram Rajya Rath Yatra’ violates Motor Vehicles Act, say State Transport Authority officials

Transport authorities in India are not often applauded for being proactive but Kerala police have always managed to stay in the headlines due to their strict implementation of the laws. Here is one such incident that has been in highlight after Kerala police have said that the much-publicized Ram Rajya Rath is a breach of the law. Here’s what happened.

What is happening here?

‘Ram Rajya Rath Yatra’ violates Motor Vehicles Act, say State Transport Authority officials

The rath yatra began its journey from Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh on February 13, 2018. The journey crossed through six states and is scheduled to reach Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala after a journey of 41-days. The yatra entered the Kerala state surrounded by tight security and had reached Nagercoil on Wednesday after going through Madurai, Rameswaram and Tirunelveli.

The State Transport Authority (STA) has commented that the Ram Rath used for the journey is a modified version of a vehicle and it is a violation of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The authority says that if the vehicle used for the journey is a registered vehicle, it should get a number plate displayed at the front and the rear prominently. Also, if the rath’s chassis or the engine is a registered as a goods carrier, transporting passengers is not allowed. The sadhus, who are a part of the rath yatra are currently using the vehicle to transport themselves from one place to another.

A transport official said to The Hindu,

“It appears that the chassis of a heavy vehicle has been altered and modified into a temple on wheels. Any alteration of a registered vehicle should be for a specific purpose like ambulance or fire tenders. A mobile temple, as claimed by the organisers, is not mentioned in the list of permitted modifications. ‘Alteration’ of a vehicle means a change in the structure of the vehicle, which results in changes to its basic features.

Section 52 of the Act says 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.If the number plate is not displayed, the vehicle will be treated as an unregistered vehicle. Our enquiries revealed that the organisers did not get the permission of the police to enter Madurai and Ramanathapuram districts,”

The vehicle can be seized by the police under the M.V. Act under the section 207. No action has been proposed till now but the breaching the rules may put the rath yatra in problems. Any modification done to the vehicle has to be endorsed on the Registration Certificate of the vehicle else every certificate issued to the vehicle including fitness and pollution certificates stand to be invalid.

Via: The Hindu