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"From Friday, any tinted film on car windows will be illegal" - Supreme Court

Discussion in 'Non FIAT Cars and two wheelers' started by Rituraj, May 2, 2012.

  1. The new judgement is fully confusing. Even I think there will be more hearing.
  2. vijays777

    vijays777 Regolare

    Linea T-Jet
    The below gives you the answer ----- same judgement is reserved

    O R D E R

    Heard petitioner in person and learned counsel for the parties.

    Order reserved in all IAs
  3. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    Today when I was waiting at the Thiruvanmiyur RTO signal, saw a big electronic board near the signal and the RTO office which read 'As per Supreme Court direction, use of dark tinted films on cars is banned'.
    1 person likes this.
  4. sungoa2010


    It looks chennai they are pretty serious. I removed it from my alto yesterday. I was planning to take it to Chennai. Now I can now park it in front of a RTO office.
    1 person likes this.
  5. vijays777

    vijays777 Regolare

    Linea T-Jet
    So meaning permissible light tinted glass is allowed !! :)
  6. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Tinted glasses in vehicles: Act or face contempt action, SC warns cops - The Times of India

  7. theblack

    theblack Esperto

    There was a counter argument on this right, wonder what happened to that
  8. mayank

    mayank Amatore

    IA NOS. 4, 5, IA NOS. 6-8, IA. NOS. 9-11, 12, 13, 14 AND 15
    Avishek Goenka ... Appellant
    Union of India & Anr. ... Respondents

    J U D G M E N T

    Swatanter Kumar, J.

    1. The applications for impleadment and intervention are allowed
    subject to just exceptions. All applications for placing documents on
    record are also allowed.

    2. I.A. No. 5 of 2012 has been filed by the Dealers and Distributors
    of tinted films in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 265 of 2011 under Order XVIII,
    Rule 5 of the Supreme Court Rules, 1966 against the dismissal of two
    interim applications, i.e., seeking permission to file application for
    impleadment and application for modification by the Registrar of this Court
    vide his Order dated 16th May, 2012.

    3. The learned Registrar vide the impugned order noticed that
    application for impleadment was not maintainable inasmuch as the writ
    petition in which the application was filed has already been disposed of.
    In regard to the application for modification, according to the applicants,
    the petitioner suppressed various aspects of the matter and misled the
    court in passing the order and the same order was therefore, liable to be
    modified. Dealing with this contention, the learned Registrar, while
    referring to the judgment of this Court in Delhi Administration v. Gurdip
    Singh Uban and Ors. [(2000) 7 SCC 269] held that the application, in fact,
    was an application for review and not for modification. Thus, he declined
    to receive the application and registered the same in accordance with the
    Rules of the Supreme Court.

    4. We hardly find any error of law in the Order of the Registrar
    under appeal, but we consider it entirely unnecessary to deliberate upon
    this issue in any further detail, since, we have permitted the applicants
    to address the Court on merits of the application. Keeping in view the fact
    that a number of other applications have been filed for clarification and
    modification of the judgment of this Court dated 27th April, 2012, without
    commenting upon the merit or otherwise of the present appeal, we would deal
    only with the application for modification or clarification filed by these
    applicants along with others.

    5. I.A. No. 15 has been filed by the International Window Film
    Association. I.A. No. 4 has been filed on behalf of Vipul Gambhir.

    6. An unnumbered I.A. of 2012 is filed by 3M India Ltd. Another
    unnumbered I.A. has been filed on behalf of the dealers and distributors of
    the tinted films.

    7. I.A. No. 3 of 2012, an application on behalf of the petitioner to
    appear in person, is allowed.

    8. I.A. No. 7 of 2012 has been filed on behalf of M/s. Garware
    Polyester Ltd. I.A. No. 10 of 2012 is an application filed by M/s. Car
    Owners and Consumer Association.

    9. Another unnumbered I.A. has been filed on behalf of M/s. Gras
    Impex Pvt. Ltd. All these applications have been filed by various
    applicants seeking clarification and/or modification of the judgment of
    this Court dated 27th April, 2012 on various grounds.

    10. The petitioner has filed I.A. No. 11 of 2012 by way of a common
    reply to the grounds taken in all these applications and has also placed
    certain documents on record. The various applicants above-named have
    sought modification/clarification of the judgment of this Court dated 27th
    April, 2012 principally and with emphasis on the following grounds :

    1) That the applicants were not parties to the writ petition and were not
    aware of the proceedings before this Court. Thus, their submissions
    could not be considered by the Court, hence the judgment of the Court
    requires modification.
    2) The applicants have placed material and reports on record that the use
    of films or even black films is permissible scientifically and in law.
    3) It is contended that Rule 100(2) uses the expression 'maintained' which
    implies that safety glasses, including the wind screen, can be maintained
    with requisite VLT percentage even by use of black films.
    4) Lastly, it is contended that para 27 of the judgment needs modification
    by substituting the words 'use of black films of any VLT percentage' by
    the words 'use of black films of impermissible VLT percentage".

    11. We must notice at the very threshold that in the main Writ
    Petition no. 265 of 2011 and even in the present applications, there is no
    challenge to Rule 100 of the Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 (for short, 'the
    Rules'). This Court vide its judgment dated 27th April, 2012, has
    interpreted the said Rule de hors the other factors. Once this Court
    interprets a provision of law, the law so declared would be the law of the
    land in terms of Article 141 of the Constitution of India. The law so
    declared is binding on all and must be enforced in terms thereof. Having
    interpreted the Rule to mean that it is the safety glasses alone with
    requisite VLT that can be fixed in a vehicle, it is not for this Court to
    change the language of the said Rule. It would, primarily, be a
    legislative function and no role herein, is to be performed by this Court.

    12. In the applications before us, as already noticed, some grounds
    have been taken to demonstrate that some other interpretation of the
    provision was possible. These grounds, firstly, are not grounds of law.
    They are primarily the grounds of inconvenience. Enforcement of law, if
    causes any inconvenience, is no ground for rendering a provision on the
    statute book to be unenforceable. The challenge to the legislative act can
    be raised on very limited grounds and certainly not the ones raised in the
    present application. In fact, all the learned counsel appearing for
    various applicants fairly conceded that they were not raising any challenge
    to Rule 100 of the Rules. Once that position is accepted, we see no reason
    to alter the interpretation given by us to the said Rule in our judgment
    dated 27th April, 2012.

    13. Still, we will proceed to discuss the contentions raised. The
    judgment dated 27th April, 2012 was passed in a Public Interest Litigation
    and the orders passed by this Court would be operative in rem. It was
    neither expected of the Court nor is it the requirement of law that the
    Court should have issued notice to every shopkeeper selling the films,
    every distributor distributing the films and every manufacturer
    manufacturing the films. But, in any case, this was a widely covered
    matter by the Press. It was incumbent upon the applicants to approach the
    Court, if they wanted to be heard at that stage. The writ petition was
    instituted on 6th May, 2011 and the judgment in the case was pronounced
    after hearing all concerned, including the Union Government, on 27th April,
    2012, nearly after a year. Hence, this ground raised by the applicants
    requires noticing only for being rejected.

    14. Not only the present judgment but even the previous judgments of
    this Court, in the cases referred to in the judgment dated 27th April,
    2012, in some detail have never permitted use of films on the glasses.
    What the Court permitted was tinted glasses with requisite VLT. Thus, the
    view of this Court has been consistent and does not require any
    clarification or modification.

    15. Equally, without substance and merit is the submission that the
    expression 'maintained' used in Rule 100 would imply that subsequent to
    manufacturing, the car can be maintained by use of films with requisite VLT
    of 70 per cent and 50 per cent respectively. In the judgment, after
    discussing the scheme of the Act, the Rules framed thereunder and Rule 100
    read in conjunction with Indian Standard No.2553 Part II of 1992, this
    court took the view that the Rule does not permit use of any other material
    except the safety glass 'manufactured as per the requirements of law'.
    Rule 100 categorically states that 'safety glass' is the glass which is to
    be manufactured as per the specification and requirements of explanation to
    Rule 100(1). It is only the safety glasses alone that can be used by the
    manufacturer of the vehicle. The requisite VLT has to be 70 per cent and
    50 per cent of the screen and side windows respectively, without external
    aid of any kind of material, including the films pasted on the safety
    glasses. The use of film on the glass would change the very concept and
    requirements of safety glass in accordance with law. The expression
    'maintained' has to be construed to say that, what is required to be
    manufactured in accordance with law should be continued to be maintained as
    such. 'Maintenance' has to be construed ejusdem generis to manufacture and
    cannot be interpreted in a manner that alterations to motor vehicles in
    violation of the specific rules have been impliedly permitted under the
    language of the Rule itself. The basic features and requirements of safety
    glass are not subject to any alteration. If the interpretation given by
    the applicants is accepted, it would frustrate the very purpose of enacting
    Rule 100 and would also hurt the safety requirements of a motor vehicle as
    required under the Act. Number of Rules have been discussed in the
    judgment dated 27th April, 2012 to demonstrate that these Rules are
    required to be strictly construed otherwise they would lead to disastrous
    results and would frustrate the very purpose of enacting such law.

    16. Now, we may come to the last contention that para 27 of the
    judgment needs modification as noticed above. Para 27 of the judgment
    reads as under:
    "27. For the reasons afore-stated, we prohibit the use of black
    films of any VLT percentage or any other material upon the
    safety glasses, windscreens (front and rear) and side glasses of
    all vehicles throughout the country. The Home Secretary,
    Director General/Commissioner of Police of the respective
    States/Centre shall ensure compliance with this direction. The
    directions contained in this judgment shall become operative and
    enforceable with effect from 4th May, 2012."

    17. According to the applicant, the expression 'we prohibit the use of
    black film of any VLT percentage or any other material upon safety glasses'
    should be substituted by 'we prohibit the use of black films of
    impermissible VLT percentage or any other material upon the safety
    glasses'. The suggestion of the applicants would be in complete violation
    of the substantive part of the judgment. We have already noticed that it
    is not the extent of VLT percentage of films which is objectionable under
    the Rules but it is the very use of black films or any other material,
    which is impermissible to be used on the safety glasses. Once the
    prescribed specifications do not contemplate use of any other material
    except what is specified in the Explanation to Rule 100(1), then the use of
    any such material by implication cannot be permitted. Quando aliquid
    prohibetur ex directo, prohibetur et per obliquum. If we substitute the
    plain language in para 27, it would render the entire judgment ineffective
    and contradictory in terms. Having already held that no material,
    including the films, can be used on the safety glasses, there is no
    occasion for us to accept this contention as well.

    18. The manufacturer and distributors have placed certain material
    before us, including some photographs and reports of the American Cancer
    Society, to show that mostly skin cancer is caused by too much exposure to
    ultra-violet rays. From these photographs, attempt is made to show that in
    the day time when the films are pasted upon the safety glasses, still the
    face and the body of the occupant of the car is visible from outside. It is
    also stated that certain amendments were proposed in the Code of Virginia
    relating to the use of sun shading and tinting films, on the motor
    vehicles. Relying upon the material relating to America, it is stated that
    there are large number of cancer cases in USA and the framers of the law
    have amended the provisions or are in the process of amending the
    provisions. This itself shows that it is a case of change in law and not
    one of improper interpretation, which is not the function of this Court.

    19. To counter this, the petitioner has filed a detailed reply
    supported by various documents. This shows that tinted glasses have been
    banned in a number of countries and it is not permissible to use such
    glasses on the windows of the vehicle. Annexure A1 and A3 have been placed
    on record in relation to New South Wales, Australia, Afghanistan and some
    other countries. He has also placed on record a complete research article
    on the cancer scenario in India with future perspective which has
    specifically compared India as a developing country with developed
    countries like USA and has found that cancer is much less in India despite
    the fact that most of the Indian population is exposed to ultra-violet rays
    for the larger part of the day for earning their livelihood for their daily
    works, business and other activities.

    20. This controversy arising from the submissions founded on factual
    matrix does not, in our opinion, call for any determination before this
    Court. As already noticed, the Court has interpreted Rule 100 as it exists
    on the statute book. The environment, atmosphere and geographical
    conditions of each country are different. The level of tolerance and
    likelihood of exposure to a disease through sun rays or otherwise are
    subjective matters incapable of being examined objectively in judicial
    sense. The Courts are neither required to venture upon such determination
    nor would it be advisable.

    21. It cannot be disputed and is a matter of common knowledge that
    there are a large number of preventive measures that can be taken by a
    person who needs to protect himself from the ultra-violet rays. Use of
    creams, sun-shed and other amenities would be beneficial for the individual
    alleged to be intolerable to sun rays. It does not require change of a
    permanent character in the motor vehicle, that too, in utter violation of
    the provisions of the statute. Suffice it to note that the reliance placed
    upon the literature before us is misconceived and misdirected. The
    interpretation of law is not founded on a single circumstance, particularly
    when such circumstance is so very individualistic. The Court is not
    expected to go into individual cases while dealing with interpretation of
    law. It is a settled canon of interpretative jurisprudence that hardship
    of few cannot be the basis for determining the validity of any statute.
    The law must be interpreted and applied on its plain language. (Ref.
    Saurabh Chaudri & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors. [AIR 2004 SC 361].

    22. In IA 4, a similar request is made. We are not dealing with
    individual cases and individual inconvenience cannot be a ground for giving
    the law a different interpretation.

    23. The petitioner argued with some vehemence that despite a clear
    direction of this Court, the appellate authority has utterly failed in
    enforcing the law. According to him, in majority of the vehicles in the
    NCT Delhi and the surrounding districts of UP, like Ghaziabad, Noida as
    well as towns of Haryana surrounding Delhi, law is violated with impunity.
    All safety glasses are posted either with Jet black films or light coloured
    films. He has referred to two instances, one of rape in Ghaziabad and the
    other of kidnapping, where the cars involved in the commission of the crime
    had black films. He has also stated that as per the press reports, the
    vehicles which are involved in hit and run cases are also vehicles with
    black films posted on the safety glasses.

    24. We are really not emphasizing on the security threat to the
    society at large by use of black films but it is a clear violation of law.
    In terms of Rule 100, no material including films of any VLT can be pasted
    on the safety glasses of the car and this law is required to be enforced
    without demur and delay. Thus, we pass the following orders :
    1) All the applications filed for clarification and modification are
    dismissed, however, without any order as to costs.
    2) All the Director Generals of Police/Commissioners of Police are
    hereby again directed to ensure complete compliance of the judgment
    of this Court in its true spirit and substance. They shall not
    permit pasting of any material, including films of any VLT, on the
    safety glasses of any vehicle.
    3) We reiterate that the police authorities shall not only challan
    the offenders but ensure that the black or any other films or
    material pasted on the safety glasses are removed forthwith.
    4) We make it clear at this stage that we would not initiate any
    proceedings against the Director Generals of Police/Commissioners of
    Police of the respective States/Union Territories but issue a clear
    warning that in the event of non-compliance of the judgment of this
    Court now, and upon it being brought to the notice of this Court,
    the Court shall be compelled to take appropriate action under the
    provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 without any further
    notice to the said officers.
    We do express a pious hope that the high responsible officers of the
    police cadre like Director General/Commissioner of Police would not
    permit such a situation to arise and would now ensure compliance of
    the judgment without default, demur and delay.
    5) Copies of this judgment be sent to all concerned by the Registry
    including the Chief Secretaries of the respective States forthwith.

    (A.K. Patnaik)

    (Swatanter Kumar)
    New Delhi
    August 3, 2012

    ---------- Post added at 12:28 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:26 AM ----------

    In short:- ALL petitions and applications by manufacturers and petitioners have been Dismissed....!!!!! R.I.P Sun Control films...~~~~
  9. What a sad decision.. :sad::-(
  10. mayank

    mayank Amatore

    hmmm...:!: i can neither be sad about it nor can i be happy..!!!!! It may sound a pretty idiotic but what if we paste films on the outer side of glasses??:anyone I mean cops often check for films on the inner side of the glass!! But still it will require an extraordinary job to neatly cut the film proportionately to the glass edges..thats the only way i see can be a l'il helpful if luck is in your favour :confused:

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