Truck drivers’ protest: Govt says new rules not implemented yet, decision will be taken only after...

Truck drivers protest against hit-and-run law: Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said the new rule has not been implemented yet. “Before implementing Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita 106/2, we will have a discussion with All India Motor Transport Congress representatives...,” he added.

Livemint
Updated2 Jan 2024, 10:59 PM IST
Members of the All India Transport Congress speak to the media after meeting Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla at the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Members of the All India Transport Congress speak to the media after meeting Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla at the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi on Tuesday.(ANI)

The Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday assured the truckers' association representatives that a decision on the punishment in hit-and-run cases under the new Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita (BNS) will be taken only after a discussion with All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) representatives.

“The truckers' representatives were told during the meeting on Tuesday that new laws have not been implemented yet and if they have concerns, the government will consider them with open heart,” the home ministry was quoted by PTI as saying.

Meanwhile, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said on behalf of the Centre 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," he added.

 

With this, protesters were urged to resume work from tomorrow. "We met and discussed the provisions under the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, and all issues have been resolved…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," Malkit Singh Bal, the chairman of the AIMTC said.

 

Why were truck drivers protesting?

Three new criminal laws, including Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita (BNS), were passed by Parliament in the Winter Session 2023. Earlier in the day, news agency ANI cited sources as saying that the Ministry of Home Affairs is likely to notify the three new criminal justice acts replacing colonial laws namely the IPC, the CrPC and the Evidence Act before January 26.

Some truck, bus and tanker operators began a three-day strike on Monday against the stringent regulations under the new criminal law Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita (BNS) for hit-and-run cases.

The new law provides for a jail time of up to 10 years and/or a fine of 7 lakh for serious road accidents due to negligent driving and where drivers run away without informing the police.

Truckers said most truck drivers choose to run away even in minor accidents as they otherwise will have to face mob justice and risk their lives. While the mobs typically go unpunished, imposing stringent punishment on drivers is unfair.

Sharing his concerns with the law, a truck driver had told PTI, “Most drivers are labourers who survive on daily wages. How can we afford 10 lakh as a fine and five years of detention? I have only one request that the lawmakers think about us before passing such a law."

The three-day strike has caused chaos at petrol pumps in several parts of India. There are about one lakh trucks that ferry petrol and diesel as well as LPG from oil company depots to petrol pumps and gas distribution agencies. So, in the wake of the protest by the truck drivers, people feared a shortage of fuel. This led to “panic buying” of petrol and diesel, with people queuing up at petrol pumps.

In a major relief now, the government and the transporters agreed that transport workers would resume their work immediately, and they appealed to truck drivers to resume work.

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First Published:2 Jan 2024, 10:59 PM IST
HomeNewsIndiaTruck drivers’ protest: Govt says new rules not implemented yet, decision will be taken only after...

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