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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sun film in cars - illegal: Supreme Court Judgment dated 28-4-2012.


The Law:
As per the provisions of sub-rule (2) of Rule 100 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 the glass of the windscreen and rear window of every motor vehicle has to be such and be maintained in such a condition that the visual transmission of light is not less than 70%. The glasses used for side windows have to be such and be maintained in such condition that the visual transmission of light is not less than 50%.

The Judgment  (dated 28-4-2012) of Supreme Court of India banns sun films beyond visual transmission:

A bench of Chief Justice S H Kapadia and Justices A K Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar went by the limits prescribed in the MV Act and said anything beyond the visual light transmission (VLT) limit of 70% for the front and rear windshields and 50% for the side windows would be punishable.

The decision came on a PIL filed by Avishek Goenka, who had complained that cars with black film on window panes were being increasingly used for crimes, including sexual assault of women. He said though there was no express restraint on use of black film under the MV Act, it prescribed VLT limits.

Writing the judgment for the bench, Justice Kumar said, "On the plain reading of the rule, it is clear that cars must have safety glass having VLT at the time of manufacturing... In other words, the rule not impliedly but specifically prohibits alteration of such VLT by any means."
It's illegal, but tinted glass windows in cars in the city are a common sight. However, after the Supreme Court banned use of tinted glass beyond the permissible limit, such defaulters are going to have a tough time. Traffic police now intends to intensify the drive against use of tinted glass in vehicles.
There has been a traffic police drive against tinted car windows since last year. However, there has been a lull in the prosecutions this year, with only 9,279 such prosecutions till April 15 this year. Last year, for the same period, there had been as many as 30,582 prosecutions. Cops claim that better compliance has resulted in lower prosecutions. At present, car owners who are found not following the permitted percentage set for tinted glass have to either hand in their registration certificate or their driving licence along with the usual Rs 100 challan slapped on defaulters. "A notice is also issued to them by traffic police and the defaulter has to report to the area traffic inspector where the violation was recorded within 72 hours for inspection of the vehicle.
As per the permissible limit there should be at least 70% transparency in the film on the front and rear windows while 50% transparency is required on the side windows."Usually, since the fine is just a meagre Rs 100, which is nothing compared to the money spent on films (ranging from Rs 700 to Rs 14,000 for the more fancy ones that protect from UV rays), it is not much of a deterrent to defaulters who continue to travel in the tinted vehicles.

The "Rules of Road Regulations, 1989" framed by the central government under Section 118 of the Motor Vehicles Act state that, "A driver of a motor vehicle and every other person using the road shall obey every direction given, whether by signal or otherwise, by a police officer or any authorized person for the time being in charge of the regulation of traffic." Under the rule, even a traffic constable has the power to issue notice to the defaulter, said traffic police. Tinted glass in vehicles has been a major source of concern for women's security as well as criminal activities. Delhi Police had earlier sent a proposal to the Union home ministry to amend the Motor Vehicles Act to enhance fines on use of tinted glass. The amendment is expected to increase the fine to a minimum of Rs 500. Tinted car windows have helped criminals especially in cases of rape and murder.

From May 4,2012, if your car has black film on the front and rear windscreens that blocks light by more than 30% and the tint on the side window panes is more than 50%, then you could be in contempt of court in addition to being prosecuted as per the rules provided under the Motor Vehicles Act.

History:
The flagrant violation of the above said rule by use of extremely dark coloured sun films/tints on window glasses of cars led to the issuing of directions by the Hon'ble Punjab & Haryana High Court on the matter in CWP No.7639 of 1995 - Nimit Kumar versus Chandigarh Administration and Others. The Hon'ble High Court restricted the use of 'Black Films on Window Glasses' to cars of only those persons/ VIPs who needed to use such films to avoid serious security hazards. The Hon'ble Court authorised the Director General of Police or an officer duly authorized by him in this behalf (not below the rank of Additional Director General of Police) to issue permissions for the purpose to such persons under his seal and signatures. Consequent to this Court directive, permissions for use of black films were issued by way of special authorization stickers. The question that remained unsettled was whether these persons facing security risk could be permitted to use films darker than what was stipulated by the Central Motor Vehicle Rules. The Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in its earlier order dated 27-9-2004 in Civil Appeal No. 3700 of 1999 (arising out of CWP 7639 of 1995) has directed that the mandate of sub-rule (2) of Rule 100 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 has to be kept in view by the law & order enforcing agencies while laying down any security requirement.

14 comments:

  1. Paragraph 26 of the order clearly states_

    "The manufacturer of the vehicle may manufacture the vehicles
    with tinted glasses which have Visual Light Transmission (VLT) of
    safety glasses windscreen (front and rear) as 70 per cent VLT and side
    glasses as 40 per cent VLT, respectively. No black film or any other
    material can be pasted on the windscreens and side glasses of a
    vehicle."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The judgment will lead to not only wastage of hundreds of Crores of rupees which people had spent on getting the legally permissible films on their cars but also be a major setback to the source of income of filming industry. A simple plane glass reduces the cooling of the AC and if calculated will amount to further loss of crores of rupees daily. People can now be visible using towels, newspapers or other clothes to protect themselves from the sun. I don't think crime can be controled in this manner as those who were violating the law earlier will keep on doing so as earlier also they were having protective cover of some influential person and that protection will save them now also.

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  2. An excerpt from the judgement:

    "Another issue that has been raised in the present Writ
    Petition is that certain VIPs/VVIPs are using black films on
    their vehicles for security reasons. Even this practice is not
    supported by law, as no notification by the competent
    authority has been brought to our notice, giving exemption to
    such vehicles from the operation of Rule 100 or any of its
    provisions. Be that as it may, we do not wish to enter upon
    the arena of the security and safety measures when the police
    department and Home Ministry consider such exemption
    appropriate. The cases of the persons who have been
    provided with Z and Z+ security category may be considered
    by a Committee consisting of the Director General of
    Police/Commissioner of Police of the concerned State and the
    Home Secretary of that State/Centre. It will be for that
    Committee to examine such cases for grant of exemption in
    accordance with law and upon due application of mind.
    These certificates should be provided only in relation to official
    cars of VIPs/VVIPs, depending upon the category of security
    that such person has been awarded by the competent
    authority. The appropriate government is free to make any
    regulations that it may consider appropriate in this regard"

    VVIPs under Z and Z+ categories may have sunfilms on their cars with certification from the Director General of police and the home secretary of the state.

    ReplyDelete
  3. If using sun film on car window glasses increases crimes, then the legal compulsion to use helmets should also go re-thinking. It is not news now that bike riders wearing helmet snatching chains of women. So like wise we should also ban using helmets...because using helmets also increases crimes.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello Sherry,

    Could you paste the link to download this SC order? Lot of confusion here. How about Sun films that comply to the VLT? BLack sunflims is a very generic term. Added to this Police will make merry reading this Law to their convinence !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. your thinking is absolutely right. The judgment will lead to not only wastage of hundreds of Crores of rupees which people had spent on getting the legally permissible films on their cars but also be a major setback to the source of income of filming industry. A simple plane glass reduces the cooling of the AC and if calculated will amount to further loss of crores of rupees daily. People can now be visible using towels, newspapers or other clothes to protect themselves from the sun. I don't think crime can be controled in this manner as those who were violating the law earlier will keep on doing so as earlier also they were having protective cover of some influential person and that protection will save them now also.

      Delete
    2. i guess your right, but why should be the whole country punished for the acts of few criminals. i feel the law somewhere is foolish, if you see the quote that only films from the manufacture with prescribed VLT limits will be allowed but if the same VLT sunscreen is externally fitted is not allowed. i believe if the supreme court came with a valid excuses we would have a logical explanation to the quote.

      i believe this country is more of a dictator rule and things are imposed on people against their will. please let us live as our kids have to face the boiling sun.not your criminals and please don't cover up the your weak police department and lack of force. please come up with logical explanation.(even in (UK) sun flims are allowed.)

      Delete
  5. Sir
    Though i have not gone thro the entire judgement and nothing to confront or comment , I have few doubts which may cleared by competent authorities.

    how the police determines the percentage of visibility?
    why cant the Government recommends film to be used?
    what is the system followed in other countries?
    what is the practical solution to this issue apart from fining ?
    why only VIP's are exempted? If an individual says he has life threat, what will be his position?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sir
    Though i have not gone thro the entire judgement and nothing to confront or comment , I have few doubts which may cleared by competent authorities.

    how the police determines the percentage of visibility?
    why cant the Government recommends film to be used?
    what is the system followed in other countries?
    what is the practical solution to this issue apart from fining ?
    why only VIP's are exempted? If an individual says he has life threat, what will be his position?

    ReplyDelete
  7. please sir reply me urgent about film challan on car glasses ? that 50 % on side n 70 % on rear n front ..
    is allow or not ??

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  8. No film whatever transparency are allowed. only tinted glasses with required transaparency allowed.

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  9. This is a wrong interpretation of the section. I think we are becoming paranoid after these so called terrorist attacks. No car could be manufactured with a glass that doesnt allow light on the front windshield. The sun control film is to control sun light from the side window glasses and only a rigid Islamic nation like Saudi Arabia has such draconian rules enforced in order to keep their women in check, with their medieval laws.

    All luxury cars in India come with a retractable screen and according to this judgment they have to be removed as OEM's from such cars like Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi, Jaguar, Bentley and Rolls Royce. I think the police will ask those owners to remove their retractable screens or fine them Rs. 100 and inspect the vehicle for its removal within 72 hours ! Not to miss, the full mask helmets are used by all motorcycle born killers, chain snatchers and robbers to flee. So it should also be banned, if we have to go by the same logic, because it also aids in crimes.

    I dont know what kind of petition (PIL) is this? The judgment on Gay rights by Justice AP Shah of the Delhi High Court gives privacy rights to two individuals and if it is their own car or whatever space it is for their intimacy, how is it going to be questioned by police or anyone ? Are we trying to raise a moral police brigade or anything with this Judgment ?

    Well, going into one more area of skewed interpretations, will the court also ban Purdah because even there the face is not visible and any person in purdah can commit any crime and escape without being identified ? How much is the visibility quotient available under Indian laws for the transparency of a Purdah ?

    Like already told by someone above, all people are going to use newspaper or towels to cover the sunlight side of the car for the airconditioner to work and this is going to negate the interpretation of the Court totally.

    To block sunlight totally I just have newspapers in the car from which I take two sheets together and rolling down the glass window for about a centimeter from up I insert the shorter side of the newspaper for about an inch and roll up the window. Now the newspaper is held tight by the glass against the upper side of the window pane and the glass is fully covered by the newspaper. The sunlight is totally blocked and reflected. good enough.

    By the way, if a terrorist wants he can very well come in a car without sun control films and do a terror act or a criminal could ride a car without sun control film and still do his act. If the petitioner is worried about the various MMS and sleaze clips circulating in the internet that have been filmed in cars in India and abroad, and so wants the sun control films removed, well then there are thousand more such sleaze MMS shot in hotels and houses and everywhere and so can we also ban mobile cameras and video cameras or else have transparent windows and doors ?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I discovered your web site via Google while looking for a related subject, lucky for me your web site came up, its a great website. I have bookmarked it in my Google bookmarks. You really are a phenomenal person with a brilliant mind! snowflake windshield replacement

    ReplyDelete
  11. how can we use dress any one hide arms in his body...don't use cloth in public place...or inside th homes or flats or hotels no rape?...what a nonsense judgement

    ReplyDelete