Wearing helmet is compulsory, rules Madras HC
Justice N Kirubakaran also came down heavily on the petitioner, an advocate, for making unnecessary contemptuous and uncharitable remarks against the court and said there was no "unwanted judicial activism" in the order even if the direction amounted to judicial legislation.
"It is only to save the lives of the two-wheeler riders...," he said adding the court cannot wait for any person to come and knock its doors seeking a direction to the authorities.
The court had issued the order making helmet compulsory while hearing an appeal for higher compensation claim by the family of a man who died in a road accident.
The Judge noted that the insurance company had opposed the claim on the ground the victim died due to non-wearing of the helmet. He also referred to statistics that 41,330 people died in accidents because of non-wearing of the helmet in the state in the last ten years.
"Whenever an appropriate and relevant case, in which one of the problems of the society is the subject matter, comes up before the court, it is the best occasion for the court to give suitable remedial directions to address the menace/problem and it cannot be termed as unwanted judicial activism, he said.
Referring to the petitioner's contention that the court has only become a "cat’s paw of the crocodile tears shedding by helmet lobbyists group consisting of helmet manufacturers", he observed that the petitioner, being an advocate, cannot stoop to the level of making such allegations against the court.
The Judge said the petitioner, R Muthukrishnan, being a lawyer, was supposed to know the law. By seeking to review the order, he was indirectly seeking a direction to violate section 129 of Motor Vehicles Act. If the order of the court is reviewed, it would amount to a direction to violate the statute."
Justice Kirubakaran said even though a very high cost was required to be slapped on the petitioner, the court was sparing him considering that he is a senior citizen and having sufficient standing in the bar.