Subsequent to latest amendments increasing the fine and punishment/penalties under Motor Vehicles Act, following documents can be used as official versions of the latest Motor Vehicle Acts (MVA) and Rules. These are downloaded from official Government of India websites viz. https://indiacode.nic.in/ (MVA 1988 and Rules 1989) and http://egazette.nic.in/ (MVA 2019 amendment).
Motor Vehicles Act 1988 and 2019 Amendments which increase fine/penalties
The MVA 1988 and 2019 amendment should be read together to get the latest law applicable to motor vehicles in India.
Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989
The Motor Vehicles Rules should be read to know the procedures and rules about how the Motor Vehicles Act is applied in practice.
It can be cumbersome to read the whole document, so the right way is to open all the PDF files, and then search for particular topic in all of them.
For example, to know how much is the fine for driving vehicle without pollution under control certificate?, I went through the 3 documents one by one and following are the steps on how I did it:
Step 1: Search Motor Vehicles Act 1988
I searched the MVA 1988 document to search for words like “pollution”, “certificate” etc. On page 90 of doc, I can find the Section 190(2) sub-section as follows:
(2) Any person who drives or causes or allows to be driven, in any public place a motor vehicle, which violates the standards prescribed in relation to road safety, control of noise and air- pollution, shall be punishable for the first offence with a fine of one thousand rupees and for any second or subsequent offence with a fine of two thousand rupees.
Note that the words pollution under control certificate DO NOT exist in the Motor Vehicles Act 1988. It however refers to need to control air pollution, so we have to check the Motor Vehicle Rules for the procedures involved (described in Step 3).
Step 2: Search Motor Vehicles Act Amendments 2019
Above text found in Step 1 does not mention anything about pollution under control certificate. For that, we will need to check the MV Rules document. But first let’s clear up how much is the latest fine amount for causing air pollution. For that I searched for “Section 190” in the MVA Amendment 2019 doc. Having found it on page 35 and 36 of the doc, I focus on the amendment to sub-section 2 which covers the point about air pollution in MVA 1988. Reproducing the amendment to sub-section 2 below:
72. In section 190 of the principal Act,—
(ii) in sub-section (2),—
(a) for the words “a fine of one thousand rupees”, the words “imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to
ten thousand rupees or with both and he shall be disqualified for holding licence for a period of three months” shall be substituted; and
(b) for the words “a fine of two thousand rupees”, the words “imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees or with both” shall be substituted;
So the fine amount of Rs 1,000 in MVA 1988 (for first offence) has been increased to Rs 10,000. Note that in the amended sub-section 2 there are other penalties also possible including jail term for 3 months, and disqualification of license for 3 months.
Step 3: Search Motor Vehicles Rules 1989
This step was found to be the hardest, since the information seems to be spread on various pages, and there is lot of technical information which is relevant for vehicle and test equipment manufacturers, and testing agencies. I searched for “Section 190” in the MV Rules 1989 document and found only one snippet on page 125:
(6) If the certificate referred to in sub-rule (1) is not produced within the stipulated period of seven days or if the vehicle fails to comply with the provisions of 16[sub-rule (2) and sub-rule (7) of rule 115] within a period of seven days, the owner of the vehicle shall be liable for the penalty prescribed under sub-section (2) of section 190 of the Act.
So from above it seems the pollution under control certificate (we guess it’s pollution certificate because sub-section 190(2) refers to air pollution etc) can be produced within 7 days, and it doesn’t seem that the fine amount will be levied on the spot. Note that this is totally opposite to what many websites say on the same, and they claim that traffic cop can levy a fine immediately upon non-production of the pollution under control certificate. Sub-rule(1) is given later.
So I read the other parts of the MV Rules document, and found the following information about producing pollution under control certificate:
Section 115 on page 96 of MV Rules is about emission norms:
Emission of smoke, vapour, etc., from motor vehicles
115. Emission of smoke, vapour, etc. from motor vehicles.— 258[(1) Every motor vehicle other than motor cycles of engine capacity not exceeding 70 cc, manufactured prior to the first day of March 1990, shall be maintained in such condition and shall be so driven so as to comply with the standards prescribed in these rules.]
259[(2) On and after 1st October, 2004, every motor vehicle operating on—
(i) Petrol/CNG/LPG shall comply with the idling emission standards for Carbon monoxide (CO) and Hydrocarbon (HC) given in the Table below:—
Then on page 99 of MV Rules 1989:
265[(7) After the expiry of a period of one year from the date on which the motor vehicle was first registered, every such vehicle shall carry a valid “Pollution under control” certificate issued by an agency authorised for this purpose by the State Government. The validity of the certificate shall be for 266[six months] and the certificate shall always be carried in the vehicle and produced on demand by the officers referred to in sub-rule (1) of rule 116.
(8) The certificate issued under sub-rule (7) shall, while it remains effective, be valid throughout India.]
So above is the point which actually mentions about the Pollution under control (PUC) certificate. It mentions that it should be carried in the vehicle and it is valid for 6 months.
After scanning through the pages, finally on page 125 the relevant procedures are given about how PUC certificate can be demanded, how much time allowed to test the vehicle, and submit the PUC certificate, and so on; and finally what happens if the time limits are not adhered to. The important parts are in bold:
116. Test for smoke emission level and carbon monoxide level for motor vehicles.—
298[(1) Notwithstanding any tiling contained in sub-rule (7) of rule 115 any officer not below the rank of Sub-Inspector of Police or the Inspector of Motor Vehicles who has reason to believe that a motor vehicle is not complying with the provisions of sub-rule (2) or sub-rule (7) of rule 115, may, in writing, direct the driver or any person incharge of the vehicle to submit the vehicle for conducting the test to measure the standards of emission in any one of the authorized testing stations, and produce the certificate to an authority at the address mentioned in the written direction within 7 days from the date of conducting the check.
(2) The driver or any person incharge of the vehicle shall upon such direction by the officer referred to in sub-rule (1) submit the vehicle for testing for compliance of the provisions of 299[sub-rule (2) and sub-rule (7) of rule 115], at any authorised testing station.
(3) The measurement for compliance of the provisions of 16[sub-rule (2) and sub-rule (7) of rule 115] shall be done with a meter of the type approved by any agency referred to in rule 126 of the principal rules or by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur-440 001:
Provided that such a testing agency shall follow ISO or ECE Standards and procedures for approval of measuring meters.
(4) If the result of the tests indicate that the motor vehicle complies with the provisions of 16[sub-rule (2) and sub-rule (7) of rule 115], the driver or any person incharge of the vehicle shall produce the certificate to the authority specified in sub-rule (1) within the stipulated time-limit.
(5) If the test results indicate that the motor vehicle does not comply with the provisions of the 16[sub-rule (2) and sub-rule (7) of rule 115], the driver or any person incharge of the vehicle shall rectify the defects so as to comply with the provisions of the sub-rule (2) of rule 115 within a period of 7 days and submit the vehicle to any authorised testing station for re-check and produce the certificate so obtained from the authorised testing station to the authority referred to in sub-rule (1).
(6) If the certificate referred to in sub-rule (1) is not produced within the stipulated period of seven days or if the vehicle fails to comply with the provisions of 16[sub-rule (2) and sub-rule (7) of rule 115] within a period of seven days, the owner of the vehicle shall be liable for the penalty prescribed under sub-section (2) of section 190 of the Act. (7) If the driver or any person incharge of the vehicle referred to in sub-rule (1) does not produce the said certificate within the said period of 7 days, such vehicle shall be deemed to have contravened the provisions of the sub-rule (2) of ride 115 and the checking officer shall report the matter to the registering authority.
(8) The registering authority shall on receipt of the report referred to in sub-rule (7), for reasons to be recorded in writing suspend the certificate of registration of the vehicle, until such time the certificate is produced before the registering authority to the effect that the vehicle complies with the provisions of ,6[sub-rule (2) and sub-rule (7) of rule 115].
(9) On such suspension of the certificate of registration of the vehicle, any permit granted in respect of the vehicle under Chapter V or under Chapter VI of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) shall be deemed to have been suspended until a fresh “Pollution under control” certificate is obtained.]
So, based on my reading of MVA 1988 Section 190(2), combined with above rules, the carrying of PUC certificate is recommended. However, not carrying it or not having it at the time should not mean that automatically a fine can be imposed. The person should be asked to get the vehicle tested and produce the PUC certificate within 7 days. For details on various time limits and procedures, one can refer to the rules above and the Motor Vehicles Rules 1989.