To Ban Tinted Glass
In its recent judgment, the Supreme Court has banned the use of sun control films of all shades and colours in cars. While the visibility cannot be less than 30% on side glasses, it can be up to 50% in front and rear glasses. However one of the problems with this judgment is that the apex court has said VIPs in specific cases could be exempted from the requirement. Furthermore, it has not defined the term VIP and this will create more ambiguity in implementing what is a welcome decision. Nevertheless, several states, including Delhi and Tamil Nadu, have already started implementing the Supreme Court ruling, which came into effect from May 1. And according to reports, the Madras High Court has become the first high court in the country to follow the recent Supreme Court order banning the use of black sun control films in cars. This will mean that the cars belonging to 53 judges will have its dark glasses removed. According to the rationale of the Madras HC, though it will cause some minor inconvenience to them, they wanted to set an example for other citizens to follow. They believe that this kind of initiative from them will bring moral pressure on others to follow suit and voluntarily remove the dark films. As mentioned in a local daily, in Nagaland the government is yet to implement the court’s ruling. In fact a majority of people may not be even aware of the court order banning dark glasses. And perhaps our people led by the VIPs will be less inclined to actually follow this order because it would mean that we would be literally exposed! Since we are not so fond of probity and transparency in public life, having our shades on will be much better for us to continue living our secret lives. Probably this court order will be a failure in our Christian State of Nagaland.
Coming to the apex court’s ban on the sun control films and the reason thereof, it will be proper to find out more on the security and safety rationale behind such a ban. Firstly, based on public interest litigation (PIL), the Supreme Court had been issuing notice to the Government of India on the need to ban black films in glasses of vehicles. The argument is that although black films cannot by itself commit a crime but it can effectively assist in multiple crimes ranging from kidnapping, molestation, rape, transportation of illegal goods & weapons, movement of criminals, immoral activities, drinking liquor in vehicles – hence endangering the lives of those inside the vehicle as well as of those who are outside. Before pronouncing this ruling, the SC has taken note of the views expressed by police officers who have, from the many years of experience, pointed out to the threat posed by tinted glasses in aiding and abetting crime. Perhaps our State will also need a similar ban if we want to fight criminal activity mushrooming especially in the commercial hub of Dimapur. The State’s Home Department should look into the early implementation of the SC ruling so that the police in particular will be aided in maintaining law and order. Necessary device to check visibility of glasses should be made available to the police force so that enforcement can be done without any glitch. Dark films in our vehicles also severely reduce visibility especially during night resulting in more accidents and removing them will greatly help in safety on the road. VIPs may argue that they need some measure of protection to perform their public duty; nevertheless, they already have the privilege of using red lights and special number plates besides having police escort. So it’s all about leading by example.
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