A day after the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) issued a circular stating that it was now mandatory for insurance providers to seek a valid pollution control certificate from the vehicle before renewing their policy, Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari has said that the validity of certain documents would be extended till the end of this year.
"To reduce inconvenience due to the following of social distancing norms during COVID-19 outbreak, MoRTH has issued an advisory to all state governments to further extend the validity of the documents related to Motor Vehicles Act 1988 and Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989, such as Fitness, Permits (All Types), Driving License, Registration or any other concerned documents until 31st of December 2020," he tweeted.
The IRDAI notice from a day earlier incidentally cites a earlier Supreme Court directive and had urged compliance with a special focus on the Delhi-NCR region. But this new tweet has confused many as it is not clear how things stand at present, with the IRDAI mandate stipulating something that is seemingly contradictory. It is also not clear whether the PUC and the necessity for the same falls under the documents mentioned by Gadkari.
Incidentally, the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 makes note of "concern for road safety standards, and pollution-control measures, standards for transportation of hazardous and explosive materials". At the same time, the Central Motor Vehicle Rules of 1989 mention the PUC under its 'Certificate of fitness' category.
But does that mean we now have a few months before the pollution control certificate become mandatory for insurance renewal? If social media is anything to go by, most aren't convinced that this is the case. As one bemused netizen noted in the comments below Gadkari's tweets, "What about the Insurance and pollution certificate??"
Another urged the Union Minister to "please also apply this clause for IRDAI circular for Non PUC holders for the Lockdown duration up to December 2020".