- The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2014 was introduced in Lok Sabha on December 15, 2014 by the Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Mr. Nitin Gadkari. The Bill seeks to amend the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
- Under the Act, a "motor vehicle" or "vehicle" is defined as any mechanically propelled vehicle adapted for use upon roads. The power of propulsion is transmitted from an external or internal source and includes a chassis to which a body has not been attached and a trailer. It does not include (i) a vehicle running upon fixed rails, or (ii) a vehicle of a special type adapted for use only in a factory or in any other enclosed premises, or (iii) a vehicle having less than four wheels fitted with engine capacity of not exceeding 25 cc.
- The Bill brings e-carts and e-rickshaws under the ambit of the Act. E-carts and e-rickshaws are defined as special purpose battery powered vehicles, having three wheels, and with power up to 4000 watts. They can be used for carrying goods or passengers, for hire or reward. They should have been manufactured, equipped and maintained in accordance with specifications as prescribed.
- Under the Act, a person shall be granted a learner's licence to drive (i) public service vehicles, (ii) goods carriages, (iii) educational institution buses, or (iv) private service vehicles, only if he has held a driving licence to drive a light motor vehicle for at least one year. A light motor vehicle is a motor car, tractor or road roller not weighing more than 6000 kilograms.
- The Bill adds a proviso to the Act to exempt e-rickshaw and e-cart drivers from this requirement. The Bill states that the conditions for issuing of driver licences for e-cart or e-rickshaw shall be prescribed.
- The Bill also provides for the central government to make Rules on (i) the specifications for e-carts and e-rickshaws, and (ii) the manner and conditions for issuing driving licenses.
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