NEW DELHI: Impending general elections forced Supreme Court’s five-judge constitution bench adjudicating important issues – whether a LMV driving license permits one to drive a commercial vehicle and second, smoothening the cumbersome and costly arbitration process – on Thursday to adjourn hearing and await formation of a new government after polls.
Attorney general R Venkataramani informed a bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, and Justices Hrishikesh Roy, P S Narasimha, Pankaj Mithal and Manoj Misra that the union ministry of road transport and highways has held extensive consultations with states and stakeholders regarding amendments to be carried out to MVA.
The proposed amendments contemplated bifurcation of light motor vehicles (LMVs), which at present include a wide range of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, cars, transport vehicles, mini-buses, tractors, and small road rollers as the classification is based on gross vehicle weight of less than 7,500 kilograms.
MV Act defines vehicles with gross vehicle weight (GVW) exceeding 7,500 kilograms and not exceeding 12,000 kilograms as medium goods/passenger vehicles and vehicles with gross vehicle weight exceeding 12,000 kilograms are defined as heavy goods/passenger vehicles.
The govt proposes to classify vehicles under LMV based on GVW, which is the total weight of the vehicle under laden condition certified by the registering authority as permissible GVW for that vehicle. The bifurcation is proposed to be as follows- LMV 1- with GVW not exceeding 3,500 kilograms and LMV 2- with GVW exceeding 3,500 kilograms and not exceeding 7,500 kilograms. It may also amend the driving license depending on whether the person is going to drive an automatic or a geared vehicle, as both require different skill sets.
Venkataramani said the amendment to MVA would have to be brought in through a Bill by the govt after the elections. This prompted the bench to adjourn the hearing till July 30 to give ample time to the new govt to bring in the amending Bill in parliament.
Similarly, the AG informed the bench that government had appointed a 17-member committee headed by T K Vishwanathan and including the AG himself, to consider amendments to the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 to smoothen the cumbersome procedure, which over the years have become costly too.
The Committee’s recommendations would necessitate amendments to the 1996 law and that too must wait for the formation of the new government after the elections, the AG said. The bench also posted this matter for hearing in July last week.

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