Draft Notification to Formalize Movement of Foreign Personal Vehicles Released

On 16th March, 2022, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) issued a draft notification which proposes to formalise the movement of personal vehicles registered in other countries when entering or plying in Indian territory. Under the Inter-Country Non-Transport Vehicle Rules, foreign vehicles operating in the Indian territory are mandated to carry a valid registration certificate.

Such a vehicle is also required to carry a valid insurance policy, driving licence or an international driving permit and a pollution under control certificate (if applicable in the country of origin). The notification states that, “All the documents shall be in the possession of the person driving the motor vehicle at the time of entering India and during the entire period of stay and shall always be available for inspection by the respective competent authority to inspect a passenger vehicle.”

Further, if the documents are in a language other than English, then an authorized English translation of the document which duly authenticated by the relevant issuing authority has to be carried along with the original documents. The Rules also seek to make it mandatory for vehicles with non-English registration marks to show the unique identity of the vehicle in English, at the front and back.

Additionally, the Rules also state that motor vehicles registered anywhere other than India are not permitted to transport local passengers and goods within the Indian territory. Such vehicles are also required to comply with the rules and regulations under Section 118 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 of India.


Govt. increases Compensation for the Victims of Hit-and-Run Cases

As per the latest notification by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, the compensation to the kin of hit-and-run victims has been increased by eight-fold to Rs 2 Lakh in case of death, from the current cap of Rs 25,000. Additionally, the solatium to the individual sustaining grievous in a hit-and-run case has also been increased to Rs 50,000 from the current Rs.12,000.

As per the notification of the Ministry, issued on 25th February 2022, the scheme shall be called ‘Compensation to Victims of Hit and Run Motor Accidents Scheme’, 2022 and shall come into force with effect from April 1, 2022. 

The said notification establishes a ‘Standing Committee’ that shall look into the requests of such claims, consider the issues raised in the quarterly reports of the District Level Committee and provide guidance or directions, including on prevention of fraud in implementation of this scheme and extend advisory function to the government to make the implementation of the scheme efficient. Further, the District level Standing Committees under the Scheme shall be undertaking all functions connected with the implementation of this scheme at the District Level.

Under the scheme, the Ministry has also established a Detailed Accident Report (DAR) procedure for thorough investigations of the accidents, their reporting and timelines for various stakeholders to effectuate quick settlements of claims.

Through the scheme, the Ministry also envisages to set up a Motor Vehicles Accident Fund, which will be used for providing compensation in case of hit and run accidents and treatment for accident victims.


Rules governing Vehicle Fitness Certification amended

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways issued a draft notification on 2nd February 2022 that further amended the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989. The proposed rules make Vehicle Fitness Certification mandatory only via an automated testing station (ATS). As per the notification the ATS is required to be registered as per the provisions of Rule 175 for the purpose of recognition, regulation and control.

For Heavy Goods/Heavy Passenger motor vehicles the rules shall apply from 1st April 2023. While, for Medium Goods Vehicles/Medium Passenger Motor Vehicles and Light Motor vehicles the applicability shall commence from 1st June 2024.

The proposed rules also stipulate revised timelines for renewal of fitness certificates of transport vehicles:

  • Two years for vehicles up to eight years old.
  • One year for vehicles older than eight years.