The Gujarat High Court has flayed the State government for its ineptitude in handling the traffic menace. A Bench of Justices AS Supehia and MR Mengdey, while hearing a contempt petition, alluded to the ISKCON Bridge accident wherein a speeding Jaguar car mowed down nine people in Ahmedabad.
The High Court has said that the State government is so spineless that it has made traffic violators fearless.
“Do you (State) know the core reason why accidents like the recent fatal one take place? The perpetrators don’t have a fear of the law. They blatantly, with impunity, violate the laws. You (State) don’t have the spine to implement traffic rules rather you don’t have the will,” Justice Supehia was quoted as saying by barandbench.com.
The Court reminded said that while people in cities like Mumbai and Delhi fear traffic laws, no one takes them seriously in Gujarat.
“Look at your own management first and then compare it with cities like Mumbai, Delhi, where people fear traffic laws. But here in Gujarat nobody cares, even your constables are just mute spectators. We have personally seen this. They do nothing and just close their eyes. So why shouldn’t we frame contempt charges?” the Bench said.
The Bench added that the government shouldn’t go rah-rah about CCTV cameras since most of the devices seldom ever function properly.
The Court added that traffic personnel required training. “Either send them (traffic cops) to Mumbai, where traffic sense, traffic implementation and rules and laws are very strict. The same is in Delhi. Either send your officers there or bring cops from those cities to this State. People here are not scared of the laws. People have become fearless. It’s time to deal with such people with iron hands.” Justice Supehia said.
“You need to first develop a mechanism so that people, before breaching laws, are scared that they will be subjected to some punishment. Develop something which inculcates respect of law, respect for policemen, who are doing their duties,” the Bench said.
Even though Government pleader Manisha Luvkumar-Shah informed the Court that the State has launched an e-challan system to curb traffic violations, the Bench believed spike-like devices were necessary to curb driving on the wrong side of the road.
“I have personally seen the use of spikes in cities like Pune, Bangalore, Noida etc. Wrong-side driving cannot happen there. Why can’t you implement something like this? Wherever there are dividers, people take the wrong side. If something is happening in other cities, why can’t you follow?” the judges asked.
The law portal reported that the counsel representing the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) apprised the Court of some measures the civic body and the traffic department had undertaken to curb the traffic menace. “Do you wait for an accident to happen? Licence checking etc must happen regularly, not sometimes only. The parents who have lost their children in these accidents will not forget in their life. Where is the fear of traffic laws? With impunity, it is being violated. We reiterate that you don’t have the guts and spine to implement the traffic laws,” Justice Supehia said.
“We are not living in Eutopia. We want that at least there should be some reasonable implementation of laws.”
Also Read: Section 308 Added To ISKCON Bridge Case