New Delhi, January 2: The central government on Tuesday, January 2, clarified that the new law for hit-and-run cases has not been implemented and it will have a discussion with representatives of the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) before implementing it. Amid ongoing protest by truck drivers in several parts of the country, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla released a statement after holding a meeting with AIMTC representatives. Following the meeting, the government and the AIMTC urged truckers to end their strike and resume work immediately, news agency PTI reported.
"We had a discussion with All India Motor Transport Congress representatives, govt want to say that the new rule has not been implemented yet, we all want to say that before implementing Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita 106/2, we will have a discussion with All India Motor Transport Congress representatives and then only we will take a decision," Ajay Bhalla said after the meeting.
New hit-and-run law on hold, says AIMTC president
"You are not just our drivers you are our soldiers...We do not want you to face any inconvenience...Union Home Minister Amit Shah has kept the ten years of punishment & fine that was imposed, on hold. Until the next meeting of the All India Motor Transport Congress is held no laws will be imposed," AIMTC president Amrit Lal Madan said.
"We have conveyed your (truck drivers) concerns to the government. The law has not been put into force yet and I assure you that we will not let this law come into force. We appeal to you to go back to your vehicles and start driving without any fears," Bal Malkit Singh, chairman of core committee of AIMTC, told media persons.
What new law on hit-and-run cases says
The new hit-and-run law imposes stricter penalties on drivers who flee accident spots. Under the Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita, the new law that replaced the colonial-era Indian Penal Code, the driver shall face a jail term of up to 10 years and/or a fine of Rs 7 lakh for serious road accidents due to negligent driving and where drivers run away from the accident site without informing the police. Earlier, under IPC Section 304A, the maximum prison term was for two years.
Why truck, bus and oil tanker drivers protesting against the law?
The protesting drivers are of the view that under the new law they will be vulnerable to mob violence. "While the mobs typically go unpunished, to impose stringent punishment on drivers is unfair," they were quoted by PTI as saying.