In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court of India has ruled that drivers holding a light motor vehicle (LMV) driving license can now drive heavy vehicles. This decision overturns the previous requirement for a separate heavy motor vehicle (HMV) license to operate larger vehicles.
The Court’s decision stems from a petition filed by Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, which challenged the validity of a 2017 judgment that allowed LMV license holders to drive transport vehicles with an unladen weight of up to 7500 kilograms. The petitioners argued that this ruling was contradictory to the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, which clearly distinguishes between LMV and HMV categories.
The Supreme Court, after careful consideration, agreed with the petitioners’ interpretation of the law. The Court’s decision is based on the principle of legislative intent, which states that the meaning of a statute should be determined based on the intention of the legislature. In this case, the Court found that the legislature clearly intended to create two distinct categories of vehicles, LMV and HMV, and that the requirements for driving each category should be separate.
The Court’s decision has far-reaching implications for the transportation industry in India. It will allow a larger pool of drivers to operate heavy vehicles, potentially easing the shortage of qualified HMV drivers. Additionally, it could lead to a reduction in transportation costs as businesses are no longer required to hire separate drivers for LMV and HMV vehicles.
However, some concerns have been raised about the safety implications of this decision. Critics argue that LMV drivers may not have the necessary experience or training to safely operate heavier vehicles. They also worry that the increased number of heavy vehicles on the roads could lead to a rise in accidents.
Despite these concerns, the Supreme Court believes that the benefits of its decision outweigh the risks. The Court has directed the central government to review the existing driving license regulations and implement any necessary changes to ensure the safety of drivers and passengers.
The Supreme Court’s decision is a significant step towards simplifying the driving license system in India. It is expected to have a positive impact on the transportation industry and the economy as a whole.