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Ordinance promulgated for giving relief to drivers of E-rickshaws and E-carts

The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2014 was passed by Lok Sabha on 18th December, 2014 and was introduced in Rajya Sabha on 22nd December, 2014 for consideration and passing. The Bill was listed for debate in the business of Rajya Sabha on 22nd and 23rd December, 2014 but could not be taken up for discussion because of adjournment. As the Parliament is not in session and the matter of giving relief to people depending on e-rickshaws is of public interest, it was decided to move for promulgation of an Ordinance by the President under Article 123 of the Constitution of India for carrying out the proposed amendments in the line of Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2014.

To bring relief to people using and driving E-rickshaws and E-carts, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has notified GSR 709(E) dated 08.10.2014 and S.O. 2590(E) dated 08.10.2014 for amending the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 (CMVRs) to include e-Rickshaws and e-Carts and its specifications under the ambit of Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989. While the testing, certification and registration of such E-rickshaws/E-carts have been notified, the requirement of the drivers of such vehicles to have a license to drive LMV for one year, as prescribed under the MV Act, 1988 for getting a learner’s license to drive such transport vehicle, continued to be an impediment.

Under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, no person can be granted a learner’s licence to drive a transport vehicle unless he has held the driving licence for a period of at least one year. As most of the E-rickshaw and e-Cart drivers do not have any license for an year, the extant provision will debar them from operating e-Rickshaws/e-Carts. In order to remove this difficulty and facilitate plying of e-Rickshaw and e-Cart, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways proposed an amendment to Section 7(1) of the motor Vehicles Act, 1988 through Ordinance which would enable the grant of driving licence for E-Rickshaw and E-Cart drivers holding LMV licence, without waiting for the prescribed one year period for transport vehicles.

With the assent of the President, the Ordinance has been promulgated on 7th January, 2015 for giving the relief to the large number of drivers of E-rickshaws and E-carts. This is proposed keeping in view the fact that the E-Rickshaws and E-carts have been allowed a maximum power of 2000 watts and a speed of 25 kms per hour through amendment in the CMVR.

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