Thursday, April 5, 2012

Motor Vehicle Act 1988 doesn't prohibit PH to convert motor vehicles as invalid carriages

Dear Colleagues,

I had written in detailed earlier in my post titled  "Disabled and Driving - Can both exist together or at the cost of each other? about this issue and host of other issues troubling the disabled persons in India.

An adapted /altered Scooters or an adapted Car with suitable modification like hand brakes and gears provides an easy mobility to a user with orthopedic disabilities.

People with orthopedic disabilities (especially those with Post Polio Residual Paralysis and those with spinal injuries) often prefer a scooter with side-wheels which is an economic mode of transport. Since almost no major company produces such scooters (called an invalid carriage!!!) in India, people with disabilities have to get the fabrication done through local mechanics and fabricators etc.

Registration of modified car/scooter as "invalid carriage" is most difficult
Registering such vehicles and driving license to drive such (invalid carriage) is an uphill task as the rules and law do not specifically provide for this and leaves room for subjectivity and corrupt practices and it leads to exploitation of a user with disabilities at the hands of middlemen and RTOs.

Such an adapted vehicle is registered as ‘Invalid Carriage’ at the whims and fancies of the RTO. To harass the disabled applicants, the RTO often ask the user to produce a sale letter (form 21) of the Invalid Carriage. Now, since no automobile manufacturer in India supply company-fitted scooter with side wheels or produces an invalid carriage, such a sale letter can not be produced. Here starts the harassment to the user and malpractices in absence of laws due to subjectivity available with the RTOs.

Even when the carriage is registered, the user is given a driving license denoting the vehicle number on the license meaning that the user can not drive any other similar vehicle in case the vehicle goes out of order. This necessitates seeking a new driving license each time with a new vehicle (even if the vehicle is similar),

As per the Rule 126 made under Section 52 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (as amended in 2002) the prototypes of all vehicles including the one for the disabled should be approved by the Pune-based Automobile Research Association of India, otherwise no modifications on any vehicle can be permitted and one has to use a vehicle in the same shape and design as supplied by the manufacturing company. This puts an undue restriction on the persons with disabilities and takes away from them their right to free mobility.

Similar is the case for adapted Cars. Previously, Maruti Udyog Ltd. used to manufacture special type vehicles for handicapped persons with suitable modifications/ attachments. As the requirement of different persons with different disability varies, the modifications/attachments also have to be different. Since the prototype of each model has to undergo the test, under Rule 126 of CMV Rules, the manufacturer has stopped production of such vehicles. Hence it is desirable to allow modifications/alterations of vehicles enabling the handicapped to drive their own vehicles.

In such situations, several of our physically disabled friends who have been using their adapted / modified vehicles for their mobility and living a very active life despite their disability have faced harrassment from the RTOs.

Madras High Court provides a Ray of Hope
However, in the instant case, one C. Paulraj, a disabled farmer who modified a Maruti 800 to suit his needs was refused the registration of the vehicle as "invalid carriage" by the Local RTO. Paulraj had converted leg operated brake, clutch etc to hand operated ones since he can't use his legs for the purpose due to polio.

Justice D Hariparanthaman of Madras High Court has ordered that Motor Vehicles Act 1988 did not prohibit any person, including physically challenged persons, to convert motor vehicles as invalid carriages, so long as the alterations do not change the basic feature of the vehicle.

The Honb'ble Justice clarified that changing the leg operated brake, clutch and accelerator into one of hand operation, would not cause a change in the basic feature of the vehicle and asked the RTO to issue permanent registration to Paulraj's vehicle within four weeks.

This is a welcome judgement from the High Court and I am sure this would give much needed relief who suffer in silence due to car makers not providing these options in their designs and they are forced to go to local fabricators to get the modifications done.

Here is the news report:

HC raps transport dept for not certifying disabled man’s car

CHENNAI: It is the state's responsibility to make available 'invalid carriages' for the benefit of the disabled, the Madras high court has said, adding that curtailing the mobility of a disabled would amount to perpetuating inequality.

While directing the authorities to issue registration certificate to C Paulraj, a disabled farmer who modified his Maruti 800 to suit his needs, Justice D Hariparanthaman said, "If the mobility of physically-challenged persons is curtailed, it would result in perpetuating inequality and the object of the Persons With Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act 1995 would be defeated."

The matter relates to the rejection of Paulraj's request to the regional transport officer of Tirunelveli seeking registration certificate for his new car. Paulrak is paralysed below his hip. He had earlier an autorickshaw modified and duly certified. He then purchased a car, which was also modified and duly certified. The problem arose when the RTO refused to certify his new car, on the grounds that only company-manufactured vehicles, and not modified versions, could be certified.

Justice Hariparanthaman, rejecting the submission, said that the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 did not prohibit any person, including physically challenged persons, to convert motor vehicles as invalid carriages, so long as the alterations do not change the basic feature of the vehicle.

Pointing out that Paulraj had changed the leg operated brake, clutch and accelerator into one of hand operation, the judge said such changes would not cause a change in the basic feature of the vehicle. He then asked the RTO to issue permanent registration to Paulraj's vehicle within four weeks.


ഡോ.ജിനേഷ്‌ ഇളമണ്ണൂര്‍ said...

its a great decision,,,bt wat about the licence ,,,,,still clarification required

ഡോ.ജിനേഷ്‌ ഇളമണ്ണൂര്‍ said...

but wat about the problems still remaining about issuing licence 4 differentially abled persons

Vijay Runwal said...

As very less people are aware about authorised manufacturer of such kind of scooter, Ankai Auto, Aurangabad, Maharashtra have that "Automotive Research Association of india" certificate and also it registered with RTO. their contact no. is 02402353211.

Hardyk said...

Thanks a Ton for the pertinent Law and the HC Ruling. This comes as a big relief to me because I have Post Polio Residual Paralysis in my left hand but am fit to drive an Automatic 4 wheeler with a Steering Knob. My concern was that the sterring Knob is not company fitted and was included after registeration of my automatic as a normal car. Will I still have to get n Invalid carriage change in my RCV Book?

Chepuri prudhvi tej said...

Hi my left leg is amputed above the knee...i can drive automatic transmission car easily without any difficulties. .what kind of licence do i get

Subhash Chandra Vashishth said...

@Chepuri - you can seek a licence to drive an "invalid carriage" - a hand control car.

Sridhar Martha said...

I have been facing issues in registering auto transmission car under invalid carriage. RTA warangal is denying to register the vehicle. I even shown them the excise concession letter received from department of heavy industries. Could any body help me out in this regard, please.

Ravi Attri said...

We are modifying cars for disabled persons at Karnal haryana. Mobile 9215401100

Vijay Kumar Gupta said...

Pl tell me whether normal driving license I am using for my customised break system in my auto transmission car is valid or not valid

Subhas Maji said...

Hi, Can anyone please let me know from where can I get alternation certificate in west Bengal; I own a Maruti Celerio AMT which I can perfectly drive and want to get a driving license. Please note that my left leg is polio affected but this this car is AMT (without any clutch) hence I do not need to use my left leg at all to drive.

looking forward to hear from you all...

Thanks, Subhas Maji, Kolkata.



kethavathpoolsing poolsing said...

I have right hand but it's not able grip the fingers of hand and I am comfortable driving two wheeler with small alteration res to left hand side and I have driving four wheeler vehicle with automatic transmission , shall I get license or not please suggest me

mujib khan said...

i also modifiying cars for physically challange person mobile no 09414053710

Subhash Chandra Vashishth said...

@Vijay Kumar Gupta - If you a person with orthopedic disability, a normal driving license may not be valid for your customized break system (hand operated) in an auto transmission car. You should seek appropriate valid driving licence.

Ramesh GP said...

I am Ramesh from Sullia. I purchased Auto gear shift car Maruthi Celerio. But Puttur RTO inspector denied to issue DL, because there is no altration in car. But i clariffied him, how automatic gear car altered. But he is denied DL. But I got LLR. Is there any Govt order regarding automatic car specify as invalid carrieage?

Subhash Chandra Vashishth said...

@Ramesh The process is pretty same for registration of vehicle and it can very well be registered as an invalid carriage. Though personally I am against the world "invalid carriage" Neither the vehicle is invalid and nor its user. Hence, a better noun should replace this word to indicate a vehicle being driven by a person with disability.
The mechanism recently created has RTO - a government officer in place of the vehicle dealer, in the main lead. But the Govt. has not planned any sensitization or training exercises to orient RTOs about the persons with disabilities. It is reasonably not possible to blame RTOs who can't be expected to know all disabling conditions and then certify that a person with certain disability is competent to drive. Rules are changed without a proper planning.

If the RTO inspector is denying, make a representation detailing out your case to the RTO. If they officially refuse, a petition should be made to the Disability commissioner of your State seeking suitable directions. High Court should be the last resort if this fails. This I agree is a very harassing exercise. We are trying to push for the process of training & sensitizing the RTO officials on this new responsibility!

Gurdeep Singh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gurdeep Singh said...

Hi my left leg is amputed above the knee...i can drive automatic transmission car easily without any difficulties. .what kind of licence do i get


Ramesh GP said...

I purchased Automatic Transmission Car which din't have clutch. I able to drive this car. And also no need of modification. How can i register my car as INVALID CARRIAGE?

anant bedekar said...

Hi. I'm holding driving licence since 1972 and now it's renewed for the period till 2017. However, since last two years, due to retinal detachment I've lost sight in right eye and I'm one eyed person now. My sight in left eye is absolutely normal, 6/9 even without specs. I can safely drive two wheeler. I'm not driving four wheeler now, nor I want to. Can I drive two wheeler under existing driving licence? Is any special category licence is required? If yes, how to get it? Please reply.

Dhiyagu said...

Hi all,

By birth, couple of my left leg fingers and right leg fingers didn't grown up but still I have my biggest finger is fully functional and I am able to walk and run like a normal man. Is it considered as disability, and if not whether I could get the driving license for driving atleast LMV. Please help me on this.

Krushnakant G said...

I am from in Pune. my both hands have limited movements at shoulder and elbow joint but I am able to drive Automatic Transmission 4 wheeler. I can drive automatic transmission car easily without any difficulties.
1) Could any one suggest procedure to get Driving license ?
2) Is physical fitness certificate from Government hospital is important ? as doctor said that Physical certificate is not allowed for Upper limb (Hand) disability.
3) I don't need modification in car in this case vehicle registration for handicapped is required ?



suman kumar said...

i suman kumar can drive bike , scooter, car all types of vehicles but my left leg is little bit smaller than right one so can get a valid driving licence? please guide me regarding same.

Subhash Chandra Vashishth said...

@Vineet Shah - See a driving licence for "Invalid Carriage" as per rules from your nearest RTO.
@Suman Kumar- If your leg length discrepancy (LLD) doesn't affect your ability to drive, it shouldn't be a problem, you should get a normal driving licence. LLD can be easily overcome by adding extra heels in the shoes to get a normal gait. However, sometimes the RTOs insist you that you seek an invalid carriage licence, the moment they look at your disability. You will have to deal with the situation and get a licence.

Karankumar Sawant said...

My Name is Karankumar, I'm from Pune.
I've locomotor Disability. I'm planning to buy Auto Rickshaw, I want to Know that can I get permit for that. On the other part I don't have license for that, because first time I'm trying to buy and also trying to survive with.

Pls suggest me more about.

Bharath kallare said...

My self Bharath, I lost my right hand by an accident. I can drive any four wheeler. I purchased a AMT Ignis car. Breake inspector took LLR and registered my car as INVALID CARRIAGE. But now RTO harrassing me. did no give driving licence. plz any one suggest me? my number 9901727852

Ananda Deshanur said...

Hi i am Anand.
I have loss my right hand wrist but I can drive normal vechile how to collect driving license? Pls can any body help me either what's the rooles?
Pls inform to me.
My mob No 9886499501
email ID

Krishna Zore said...

My name is Mr Krishna Zore and I reside in Mumbai.
I'm orthopedically handicapped where my left leg is totally stiff and I can't bend my left leg.
Currently, I'm planning to buy a two-wheeler with the side wheels.
Can you please tell me how can I get it?

Subhash Chandra Vashishth said...

@Krishna Zore - Currently, there is no company that is selling a two wheeler with side wheels. You have to buy one and then get it modified from an authorized workshop. Please approach Mr. Ferdinand Rodricks

Unknown said...

HI subhas thanks for sharing your valuable knowledge with us. I have disabilities in left leg. But I can drive auto transmission car perfectly. I m planning to buy maruti desire amt. When I called agency for the details, they said u will not get any benefits of tax exemption, because you have not alter vehicle. So Simply I will get these benefits. Also for my understanding, tax exemption is based on disabilities or alteration of vehicle?

Thanks in advance.

Subhash Chandra Vashishth said...

Tax exemption is based on he disability not on adapted vehicles. Often people buy auto transmission vehicles which do not need any adaptation for some disabilities.

Nagul Meera said...

I have disability left leg 60%.but i am drive the bike very i want license how is it gain.

KPS RAO said...

I have arithritis in both to get handicapped certificate