Himachalblog LogoInformativeHit and Run New Law – What is it and will the Government withdraw it?
02 January 2024 5 mins read

Hit and Run New Law – What is it and will the Government withdraw it?

02 January 2024 5 mins read
Hit and Run New Law – What is it and will the Government withdraw it?

Massive traffic congestion and long queues at petrol pumps greeted the New Year, leading people to post pictures and videos to social media. Ambulances were stuck in chaos for hours in many cities. The reason: truck drivers' nationwide protests against the new Hit and Run law.

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Hit and Run

Starting on Monday, drivers across major highways and other roads blocked major highways as part of a three-day protest. In addition to causing traffic problems, the protests have made people hurry to the nearest petrol station out of concern that they may soon run out of fuel. 

The truck drivers are voicing dissent against the Hit and Run law in the new Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, the criminal code that will replace the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Why is the new Hit and Run law introduced?

The new Hit and Run law in India, under the Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita, was introduced to address the significant issue of Hit and Run accidents and their consequences. The main reasons for introducing the new law are:

  • Minimize the number of Hit and Run cases: The new law aims to reduce the number of hit-and-run accidents, which result in around 50,000 deaths in India each year.
  • Increase accountability: The law imposes stricter penalties for Hit and Run cases, with up to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of ₹7 lakh, to increase the accountability of drivers involved in such accidents.
  • Update the legal framework: The new law replaces the British-era Indian Penal Code (IPC) and makes overhauling changes to the criminal justice system, including changes to the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and the Evidence Act.
  • Grant victims more rights: The new law grants victims the right to speak during trials, which can help ensure a fairer legal process for those affected by Hit and Run accidents.
  • Promote road safety: By imposing harsher penalties for Hit and Run cases, the new law aims to promote road safety and discourage dangerous driving behavior.
Hit and Run

How the protest is being called off?

Following a discussion with Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, the All India Motor Transport Association (AIMTC) has chosen to conclude the countrywide truck drivers’ protests opposing the recently implemented Hit and Run law.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said, “The government wants to point out that these new laws and provisions have not yet come into force. We would also like to point out that the decision to invoke Section 106 (2) of the Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita will be taken only after consultation with the All India Motor Transport Congress,” he said after a meeting with a delegation of the AIMTC.

Bhalla said the government has taken cognisance of the concerns of truckers regarding the provision of 10 years imprisonment and fine and held a detailed discussion with the representatives of the All India Motor Transport Congress over the issue.

Hit and Run

On Tuesday, petrol pumps in Mumbai and Nagpur witnessed long queues as people came to fill up their vehicle tanks fearing a shortage of fuel amid the protest by truck drivers against the provision in the new penal law on Hit and Run accident cases involving motorists.

 

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Hit and Run

Rajasthan

“The protest caused traffic congestion on the Dholpur-Karauli, Udaipur-Nathdwara, Sawai Madhopur-Kota Lalsot, Bhilwara-Ajmer, and Anupgarh-Ganganagar routes. Roadway bus operations were impacted, but they were able to restart following police intervention, according to Rajasthan State Roadways Transport Corporation spokesperson Ashutosh Awana.

Madhya Pradesh

Drivers in Bhopal stopped city buses and cars at Lalghati as part of the agitation, while some protesters also gathered in MP Nagar’s Board Office Square.

Some locations in the state saw road blockades as a result of motorist protests. In several locations, long lines were seen at gas stations as a result of people’s worry that the fuel supply would be interrupted.

Punjab

In opposition to the new law, a large number of commercial vehicles, including trucks and buses, withdrew from driving on Monday throughout Punjab. In Moga, truck drivers started a protest that caused congestion on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur Road. Drivers connected to Punjab Roadways, the Punjab Road Transport Corporation (PRTC), and private bus companies are reportedly lending their support to the protesters.

Will the new Hit and Run law be repealed by the government?

The new Hit and Run law in India has not been withdrawn by the government, as far as we know. The Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita introduced the law to tackle the serious problem of Hit and Run incidents and their aftermath.

Drivers who abandon accident scenes face harsher penalties, including up to 10 years in prison and a fine of ₹7 lakhs.

The administration has not provided any indication that it may be withdrawing the new measures, despite the All India Motor Transport Congress’s concerns and calls for their recall.

In conclusion, based on the most recent data available, there are no signs that the Indian government would repeal the recently passed hit-and-run legislation. Despite truck drivers’ objections and complaints, the law is still in place.

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