SUSPENSION AND REVOCATION OF DRIVING LICENCE

The Traffic Police Branch Hqrs. has taken initiative in enforcing the provisions of Section 19 of the Central Motor Vehicles Act,1988 and Section 3 & 5 of the West Bengal Motor Vehicles Rules ,1989  wherein the Superintendent of Police as

‘Licencing Authority’ has been given power to disqualify from holding driving licence or revoke such licence under the following conditions :-

“ Section 19 of Central Motor Vehicle Act- Power of licensing authority to disqualify from holding a driving licence or revoke such licence .-

(1)If a licensing authority is satisfied, after giving the holder of a driving licence an opportunity of being heard, that he –

(a)is a habitual criminal or a habitual drunkard ; or

(b)is a habitual addict to any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance within the meaning of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 ; or

(c)is using or has used a motor vehicle in the commission of a cognizable offence ; or

(d)has by his previous conduct as driver of a motor vehicle shown that his driving is likely to be attended with danger to the public ; or

(e)has obtained any driving licence or a licence to drive a particular class or description of motor vehicle by fraud or misrepresentation ; or

(f)has committed any such act which is likely to cause nuisance or danger to the public, as may be prescribed by the Central Government, having regard to the objects of this Act; or

(g)has failed to submit to, or has not passed, the tests referred to in the proviso to sub-section (3) of section 22 ; or

(h)being a person under the age of eighteen years who has been granted a learner’s licence or a driving licence with the consent in writing of the person having the care of the holder of the licence and has ceased to be in such care, it may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, make an order –

  1. disqualifying that person for a specified period for holding or obtaining any driving licence to drive all or any classes or descriptions of vehicles specified in the licence ; or
  2. revoke any such licence.

(2)Where an order under sub-section (1) is made, the holder of a driving licence shall forthwith surrender his driving licence to the licensing authority making the order, if the driving licence has not already been surrendered, and the licensing authority shall, -

(a)if the driving licence is a driving licence issued under this Act, keep it until the disqualification has expired or has been removed ; or

(b)if it is not a driving licence issued under this Act, endorse the disqualification upon it and send it to the licensing authority by which it was issued ; or

(c)   in the case of revocation of any licence, endorse the revocation upon it and if it is not the authority which issued the same, intimate the fact of revocation to the authority which issued that licence ;
Provided that where the driving licence of a person authorises him to drive more than one class or description of motor vehicles and the order, made under subsection (1), disqualifies him from driving any specified class or description of motor vehicles, the licensing authority shall endorse the disqualification upon the driving licence and return the same to the holder.

(3)Any person aggrieved by an order made by a licensing authority under sub-section (1) may, within thirty days of the receipt of the order, appeal to the prescribed authority, and such appellate authority shall give notice to the licensing authority and hear either party if so required by that party and may pass such order as it thinks fit and an order passed by any such appellate authority shall be final. “

“ Rule 3 of West Bengal Motor Vehicles Rules,1989- Licensing Authority.—The Licensing Authority shall be -

(i) in the city of Calcutta (jurisdiction of Calcutta Police); the Director, Public Vehicles Department,

(ii) elsewhere in the State, the District Magistrate excepting that the District Magistrate, 24-Parganas (North) shall not be the licensing authority in respect of areas under Salt Lake Town Police-Stations:

Provided that the powers of the licensing authority under section 19 of the Act only shall also be exercised by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Traffic, within the city of1 [Kolkata] or Superintendent of Police in the district in respect of licences to drive transport vehicles:

Provided further that the District Magistrate or the Director, Public Vehicles Department may delegate its power, by order in writing, to any officer not below the rank of Motor Vehicles Inspector having jurisdiction.

Earlier, these provisions were hardly being used by the Superintendents of Police to rein in the errant drivers.  However, with the continuous pursuasion of the matter by the Traffic Hqrs., a number of  driving licences were cancelled and revoked with effect from June 2012.  The Traffic Hqrs. has already requested the  Government to include the Dy. Commissioners of Traffic Police  of the various Commissionerates under West Bengal Police to be declared as ‘Licencing Authority’ and the Commissioners of Police as Appellate Authority under Section 3 of Central Motor Vehicles Act  for the purpose of enforcing Section 19 of the  Central Motor Vehicles Act,1988.  Suspension and revocation of the licences and the conditions imposed against  the offending drivers involved in fatal road accidents has started making a deterrent effect.

5. Appellate authority.—The authority empowered under sub-section (8) of section 9, sub-section (2) of section 17 and sub-section (3) of section 19 of the Act shall be –

(i)  Where the licensing authority is the Director, Public Vehicles Department, Kolkata, the Secretary, Transport Department, Government of West Bengal.

(ii)  Where the licensing authority is the District Magistrate, the Commission of the Division;

(iii)  Where the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) exercises the power of the licensing authority under section 19 of the Act within the City of 10[Kolkata] only, the Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic);

(iv) Where the Superintendent of Police exercises the power of the licensing authority under section 19 of the Act in the district only, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police of the Range.

      Earlier, these provisions were hardly being used by the Superintendents of Police to rein in the errant drivers.  However, with the continuous pursuasion of the matter by the Traffic Hqrs., a number of  driving licences were cancelled and revoked with effect from June 2012.  The Traffic Hqrs. has already requested the  Government to include the Dy. Commissioners of Traffic Police  of the various Commissionerates under West Bengal Police to be declared as ‘Licencing Authority’ and the Commissioners of Police as Appellate Authority under Section 3 and 5 respectively of Central Motor Vehicles Act  for the purpose of enforcing Section 19 of the  Central Motor Vehicles Act,1988.  Suspension and revocation of the licences and the conditions imposed against the offending drivers involved in fatal road accidents has started making a deterrent effect.

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