Telangana & AP HC warns to take operators violating MTW Act off roads

Published on 23 Nov 2017 by Team

A Division Bench of the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh High Court observed that a “staggering” 95 per cent of transport undertakings in the twin states had not registered under the Motor Transport Workers Act (MTW Act), 1961. The Bench of Acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice G Shyam Prasad was hearing a PIL filed by advocate K Subba Reddy, which claimed that non-compliance by operators was responsible for a rise in road accidents.

The Bench observed that the laxity shown by the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh after the state was divided in the year 2014, was appalling .

Advocate General of Telangana D Prakash Reddy informed the Court that the government would undertake an exercise whereby transport undertakings would be issued a token if found to be in compliance with the Act, during the time of filing of taxes for the next quarter in January.The Court took Reddy’s statement on record and said that vehicles belonging to undertakings without tokens would not be permitted to ply on roads from February 2018 onward. The Bench also clarified that this would apply only to buses and lorries, and not to autorickshaws, for the time being.

Pic Courtesy- Ajamy

Advocate General of Andhra Pradesh Dammalapati Srinivas, on the other hand, requested that the Court grant the state government six months to ascertain the number of undertakings that come under the purview of the Act, how many were in compliance, and what action could be contemplated against violators.

He also informed the Court that the state was contemplating an amendment to its transport Rules, whereby registration under the MTW Act would be made mandatory at the time of registration with the Road Transport Authority.

The Court directed both governments to file reports on action taken within three weeks, and dispensed with the need for the Transport Commissioners of both states to be present for the next hearing.

The Motor Transport Workers Act 1961, applies to all transport undertakings which employ five or more people and. The state can, at its discretion, require undertakings which employ less than five to register under the Act.

A Union Ministry of Labour Report on "The Working of the Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961 for the Year 20008"defines the scope of the Act as follows:“The Motor Transport Workers’ Act, 1961 which came into force in March, 1962 is intended to take care of the welfare of the motor transport workers and to regulate the conditions of their work. It applies to every motor transport undertaking employing five or more workers in all the States/Union Territories in the country…”

Source- Bar and Bench

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