An Introduction to Motor Vehicles Act

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Information about An Introduction to Motor Vehicles Act

Published on February 3, 2014

Author: nilendrakumar7



The familiarization to the Motor Vehicles Act is of relevance to diverse segments of the community. The existing law adresses different aspects of the statute. The presentation is an attempt to introduce the law.



LAW It is a command enforced by some sanction. It is a rule of action to which men are obliged to make their conduct conformable.

All laws in the country, whether of the Union or of the States have to conform to the constitutional scheme.

CONSTITUTION is a basic law defining and delimiting the principle organs of Government and their jurisdiction as well as the basic rights of men and citizen.

Seventh schedule of the Constitution enumerates the subject matter of laws and thus demarcates the division of responsibility between the Union and the States.

Entry 23 of List A to the Seventh Schedule

The subject of motor vehicles is dealt by the Central Government.

The Ministry concerned with the Motor Vehicle Laws in India.

Ministry of Road Transport & Highways

The Ministry has two separate wings

1. Roads Wing 2. Transport Wing

Roads Wing deals with development and maintenance of National Highway in the country.

Transport Wing deals with matters relating to road transport including motor vehicle legislation.

There are a number of legislations in India that deal with different aspects of motor vehicles.

There are a number of statutes that deal with the motor transport.

MOTOR VEHICLE LAWS IN INDIA 1. 2. 3. 4. The Carriage by Road Act, 2007 The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 The National Highways Act, 1956 The National Highways Authority of India Act, 1988 5. The Control of National Highways (Land and Traffic) Act, 2002. 6. The Multimodal Transportation of Goods Act, 1993.

7. The Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961 8. The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1961 9. The Road Transport Corporations Act, 1950 10.The Fatal Accidents Act, 1855

The Motor Vehicles Act 1988 Act No. 59 of 1988

The Act has taken into account changes in the road transport technology, pattern of passenger and freight movements, developments in the road network in the country and particularly techniques in the motor vehicles management.

CARRIAGE A carriage is a contrivance which is used for carrying or transporting, especially along or over a solid surface.

Carriage includes any carriage, wagon, cart truck, vehicle or other means of conveying goods, or passengers by land.

A crane is a motor vehicle

The term automobile includes all vehicles propelled by other than mascular power, except rail road and railway cars and motor vehicles, running only on rails and tracks, and road rollers.

PREAMBLE An Act to consolidate and amend the law relating to motor vehicles.


The Act deals with • • • • • Construction equipment and maintenance Standards for components and parts Anti-pollution control devices Issue of testing fitness certificates Registration marks

The Act categorises motor vehicles into different types.

Generally the categorisation is based on size, type and utility of such vehicles.

MV ACT 1. 2. 3. 4. Extends to whole of India Came into force on 1 July 1989 No. of Chapters – 14 No. of Sections – 217

TYPES OF VEHICLES Words Defined Contract carriage Goods carriage Heavy goods vehicle Heavy passenger motor vehicle Invalid carriage Light motor vehicle Maxicab Medium goods vehicle Medium passenger motor vehicle Clause of Section 2 7 14 16 17 18 21 22 23 24

Motor cab 25 Motor car 26 Motor cycle 27 Motor vehicle or vehicle 28 Omnibus 29 Private service vehicle 33 Public service vehicle 35 Semi trailer 39 Stage carriage 40 Tourist vehicle 43 Tractor 44 Trailer 46 Transport vehicle 47

“Contract carriage” means a motor vehicle which carries a passenger or passengers for hire or reward and is engaged under a contract, whether expressed or implied, for the use of such vehicle as a whole for the carriage of passengers mentioned therein and entered into by a person with a holder of a permit in relation to such vehicle or any person authorised by him in this behalf on a fixed or an agreed rate or sum –

a) on a time basis, whether or not with reference to any route or distance; or b) from one point to another, and in either case, without stopping to pick up or set down passengers not included in the contract anywhere during the journey, and includes – i) a maxicab; and ii) a motor can notwithstanding that separate fares are charged for its passengers;

“Goods carriage” means any motor vehicle constructed or adapted for use solely for the carriage of goods, or any motor vehicle not so constructed or adapted when used for the carriage of goods.

“Heavy goods vehicle” means any goods carriage the gross vehicle weight of which, or a tractor or a road-roller the unladen weight of either of which, exceeds 12,000 kilograms;

“Heavy passenger motor vehicle” means any public service vehicle or private service vehicle or educational institution bus or omnibus the gross vehicle weight of any of which, or a motor car the unladen weight of which, exceeds 12,000 kilograms;

“Invalid carriage” means a motor vehicle specially designed and constructed, and not merely, adapted, for the use of a person suffering from some physical defect or disability, and used solely by or for such a person;

“Light motor vehicle” means a transport vehicle or omnibus the gross vehicle weight of either of which or a motor car or tractor or road-roller the unladen weight of any of which, does not exceed 7,500 kilograms.

“Maxicab” means any motor vehicle constructed or adapted to carry more than six passengers , but not more than twelve passengers, excluding the driver, for hire or reward;

“Medium goods vehicle” means any goods carriage other than a light motor vehicle or a heavy goods vehicle;

CHAPTERISATION Number 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Preliminary Licensing of drives of motor vehicles Licensing of conductors of stage carriages Registration of motor vehicles Control of transport vehicles Special provisions relating to State Transport undertaking 7. Construction, equipment and maintenance of vehicles

8. Control of traffic 9. Motor vehicles temporarily leaving or visiting India 10. Liability without fault in certain cases 11. Insurance of motor vehicles against third party risks 12. Claims Tribunals 13. Offences, penalties and procedure 14. Miscellaneous

Salient portions of the Act have been discussed in this presentation.

DEFINITIONS Section 2(8) Dealer includes a person who is engaged _____ b) in building bodies for attachment to chassis; or c) in the repair of motor vehicles; or d) in the business of hypothecation, leasing or hire purchase of motor vehicles

Definitions Certificate of registration Goods Manufactures Owner Clause of Section 2 4 13 21A 30

To be noted 1. Driving licence does not mean a learner’s licence 2. A minor cannot be an owner (His guardian would be the owner)

Following Excluded From Definition of Motor Car : - Transport vehicle - Omnibus - Road roller - Tractor - Motor cycle - Invalid carriage

Special Provision Regarding Motor Vehicle Subject to Hire Purchase Agreement etc. Section 51

Alteration in Motor Vehicle Section 52

Alteration means a change in the structure of a vehicle which results in a change in its basic features.

Certificate of Fitness Section 56

This provision has been added with a view to prevent or reduce pollution and due to environmental concerns.

In case of refusal, owner of the vehicle will be supplied with reasons in writing for such refusal.

Thus on appeal can be filed if refusal is felt to be arbitrary or malafide or on any other valid ground.

Power to Fix the age limit of Motor Vehicle Section 59

Different ages for different classes or different types of motor vehicles.

CONSIDERATIONS Having regard to a) Public safety b) Convenience c) Objects of this Act

Thus fixation of age for different category of vehicles can be lawful only on these three grounds.

The provisions of registration also apply to trailer. Section 61(1)

Power to State Government to control road transport. Section 67

General provision regarding construction and maintenance of vehicles. Section 109

Power of Central Government to make Rules Section 110

Power of State Government to make Rules Section 111

Vehicles with left hand control Section 121

OFFENCES Different types of offences and penalties have been enumerated in following provisions of the MV Act. Sections 3,4,5,6,23,36,39,47,52,66, 93,109,112,113,114,115,124,130,133,158, 178,179,189,197 and 198 etc.

SUMMARY Due sensitisation of the automobile engineers and those connected with sale, servicing and maintenance of vehicles to the provisions of the MV Act, 1988 is a functional necessity.


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