You can be fined for ‘giving a lift’ to strangers in India; Yes, it really happened!

There are many obscure rules under the Motor Vehicles Act that can be used to issue challans to vehicle owners. Here is a recent incident where a car owner was issued a challan in Mumbai for something that he did not know is illegal. Here is all you may want to know about it.

What happened exactly?

Nitin Nair, who is a resident of Mumbai, has shared a long post on social media advising private vehicle owners of a law that can be used to prosecute any motorist giving a lift to unknown persons on the road. Mr. Nair explains his ordeal in the social media post warning others of such a law.

To summarise his experience, Nair was on his way to office when he decided to give a lift to to three people, in his car. According to him, it was raining heavily and to help people who were stranded, he decided to stop and ask people who were waiting at a bus stop about their destination. Three people including one elderly person entered the car as they were going towards Gandhinagar and Mr. Nair was headed the same way.

Soon after Mr Nair started the car to leave from the spot, a traffic constable stopped him and asked him to show his license. On asking the reason, the traffic police constable said that it is illegal to give a lift in a car to unknown people. His license was seized on the spot and he was issued a court-challan under section 66 and section 192 of the Motor Vehicles Act.

Section 66 of the MV Act says that any person is not allowed to use their private vehicle as a transport vehicle to passengers or goods. As private vehicles are not authorised to ferry passengers, Mr. Nair was booked under the same section. The Section 192 of the MV Act says that plying a vehicle without a registration number is a punishable offence. However, in case of an emergency or sickness, the rule can be relaxed.

Mr. Nair went on to say how he was summoned in court after delays, and after paying a fine of Rs. 1,500 he was asked to collect the license from a police station.

Why are strangers not allowed in a private car?

While many may see this law as an inconvenience, there are quite a few reasons behind the law, such as:

  • Strangers on isolated roads can ask for a lift and then may loot the vehicle occupants.
  • Many use private vehicles as a taxi to evade commercial tax.