Price of Two Wheelers to be inclusive of Helmets
The Supreme Court has upheld the Delhi High Court’s verdict that all two wheeler companies must sell Helmets along with the two wheeler. This verdict was challenged by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) and the case was moved to the Supreme Court.
Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) pleaded with the Supreme court to dismiss the verdict on several counts. The association said that it was unreasonable to expect a customer buying his/ her second vehicle to purchase a second helmet along with it. However the Supreme Court was unconvinced and said that a person buying a vehicle that cast approximately 40,000 could afford an additional 300 for a helmet.
Earlier, in a September 16, 2005, amendment of Rule 138 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, the court made it compulsory for two-wheeler manufacturers to supply helmets made in keeping with specifications of the Bureau of Indian Standards for every two-wheeler sold. In July 2009, the high court had ruled that it is mandatory for dealers to sell helmets along with their vehicles and that vehicles would not be registered if the order was not followed through.
The cost of the vehicle is now to be inclusive of the helmet. Two wheeler prices have already risen by Rs. 500 to Rs.1, 500 since the new budget came into effect. By making the price of the helmet inclusive in the total price of the vehicle, the ultimate sufferer will be the customer. According to the senior advocate PS Pathwaria and counsel Vipin Nair, the Court’s decision will interfere with a customer free choice; forcing him to buy a helmet everytime he buys a new vehicle.
However, manufacturers claim that it is still to easy to assess the impact of the ruling on the market, as the new additional price will also attract an excise duty. The manufacturers will also have to decide how to procure these helmets.