Speaking on phone while driving not a crime in Kerala?

south | 16 May 2018 1:12 PM (UTC)
Sanjana Santhosh
Highlights

Drinking and driving is a punishable offence, driving without helmet and without wearing the seat belt are also liable. But is speaking on mobile phones while driving is punishable?

The Kerala High Court has ruled in this regard and said that it is not a punishable offence legally. 

Drinking and driving is a punishable offence, driving without helmet and without wearing the seat belt are also liable. But is speaking on mobile phones while driving is punishable?

The Kerala High Court has ruled in this regard and said that it is not a punishable offence legally. 

Kerala High Court has ruled that the police cannot register a case if a person speaks on the mobile phone while driving. The court said that the police personnel cannot register a case if a person talks on the mobile as there are no provisions in the law which bans the use of the mobile phone while driving.

The police department has been registering a case under section 118 (e) of the Kerala Police Act if a person is found speaking on the mobile phone while driving. Section 118 (e) is charged for knowingly indulging in any act which causes danger to the public or failure in public safety.

The Division Bench order is on a petition filed by Kakkanad native MJ Santosh, questioning the police action of registering a case for speaking on the phone while driving. The police case alleges that the person's action of using the mobile phone while driving causes danger to the public.

The Division Bench said that the police could take action only if the use of mobile phone while driving causes danger to the public. Hence, it cannot be ruled that the person who speaks on a mobile phone while driving causes danger to the public, the court said. If the police have booked cases anywhere in Kerala for this reason, the driver can approach the magistrate court get justice.

If a person driving without a helmet is a punishable offence and he has to pay Rs 100 but sometimes police personnel demand more than Rs 100 and the commoners are forced to pay extra. Is this a punishable crime? Should police officers be punished for that too?

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