Adil Farooq Bhat, a Mahindra Thar owner from Kashmir found himself facing a 6 month jail term for illegal modifications on this Thar. A traffic court in Srinagar passed this judgment against the Mahindra Thar owner, and also directed the RTO of Srinagar to reverse all modifications to the Thar, and revert it back to the stock state. The court also ordered Additional Director General of Police, Traffic (J&K) to take strict action against those who have modified vehicles in contravention of law. In the coming days, traffic police officials in Kashmir are likely to launch a new crackdown against modified vehicles in the state.
Here’s what Additional Special Mobile Magistrate (Traffic), Srinagar Shabir Ahmad Malik said in his judgment against the Mahindra Thar owner Adil Farooq Bhat,
Since the offence does not involve any moral turpitude and the violator has not been previously convicted and having regard to his age and antecedents the purpose of the justice shall be served if the case is considered under probation of offenders Act, and accused is given benefit of probation. Therefore, the accused is directed to execute a bond to the tune of Rs 2 lakh for keeping peace and good behavior for the period of two years. The RTO Kashmir at Srinagar is directed to remove the car siren and all the modifications those were done in contravention to the provisions of Motor Vehicle Act and the rules made thereunder and restore the vehicle (Thar) to its original position as specified in the Registration Certificate (RC) of the vehicle. The entire incident shall be videographed and the same shall be submitted before the court. As per section 52 of MV Act, no motor vehicle shall be modified or altered from its original position in contravention to the provisions of Motor Vehicle Act and without the permission from the concerned authority. There are mainly two reasons why people violate these rules; one, lack of awareness and second, no strict action against the violators, therefore it is imperative to educate the people on the subject and simultaneously strict action as warranted under law must be taken against the violators.
Will the Mahindra Thar owner really go to jail for modifying his car?
Mr. Adil Farooq Bhat, the owner of the modified Mahindra Thar, will not have to go to jail. He will have to execute a bond of Rs. 2 lakh, and would be placed under probation for two years. Under the probation, Mr. Bhat will have to keep ‘peace and good behavior’ following which he will be totally discharged from the case. The court did not send Mr. Bhat to jail as he did not have any previous convictions against his name. If he commits similar violations in the future, the court may send him to jail considering his previous record.
Nearly every car modification is illegal in India as per the Motor Vehicle Act. Simple changes such as adding auxiliary lights and even swapping the exhaust for a free flow unit are illegal, and can get the vehicle seized and the owner in jail. However, some changes such as fitment of a CNG/LPG kit and painting the vehicle in a different colour are legal provided they’re duly endorsed in the registration certificate (RC) of the vehicle by the RTO.