Rajasthan High Court Orders Cancellation Of Driving Licences Of Those Who Can't Read
In a judgement which can have wider ramifications, a single bench of Rajasthan High Court has passed an order asking withdrawal of all light motor vehicle driving licences of those who cannot read, reported Live Law. Justice Sanjeev Prakash Sharma asserted that granting a driving licence to an illiterate puts the pedestrians at peril.
The High Court instructed the State government to take quick action, demanding it to withdraw all such licences issued.
What really forced the judgement?
Interestingly, the judgment has been passed in a writ petition where a light motor vehicle (LMV) licence holder is seeking the court’s attention in order to obtain a transport vehicle licence. The petitioner stated that he had been driving a light motor vehicle for 13 years and thus he should be given the transport licence.
Curiously, the court instead focused on the fact that petitioner acquired licence even though he was illiterate. This led the court to make the observation:
“In the opinion of this court, the Motor Vehicle Rules are required to be framed not only for the benefit of persons who seek license but also taking into consideration the public who are using the roads.
The license cannot be allowed to be issued for driving any kind of vehicle to an illiterate person as he is virtually a menace for the pedestrians as he would not be in a position to understand road signs and notices of caution written on boards for human safety on the highways as well as on the roads in the cities.”
After ordering that the driver’s licence issued to the petitioner as well as all other illiterate persons shall be withdrawn, the court also instructed the state authorities to lay down guidelines in the same regard.
“The State Transport Authorities are directed to issue appropriate instructions in this regard laying down guidelines. Action should also be taken where licenses have been issued to persons who are unable to read and write.”
The current legislature
The current set of rules do not entertain any minimum educational qualification criteria, in order to acquire a driving licence for an LMV. All the applicants are required to appear in a test that involves reading different road and traffic signs and answer Multiple choice questions on the same.
However, the only licence whose procurement entertains a minimum education criterion is the driving licence for a commercial vehicle, for which an occupant must have a Class-VIII pass certificate.