BREAKTHROUGH

Central Govt has finally acted on Dr Singh's representation and quashed manufacturer's certificate. Instead, only RTO's certificate will be required.

Media report:

Centre amends duty concession for disabled. Times of India. 26 May 2016

Gazette notification dated 21 April 2016 


Gazette addendum dated 2 May 2016

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The Ministry of Finance, Government of India, has allowed a concessional rate of excise duty of 8% as against the applicable rate of 16% and 24% (a) on cars being able to be driven by the physically disabled; or (b)on cars which has been suitably designed to be able to be driven by physically disabled; or (c) on cars meant for physically disabled.

The Department of Heavy Industry has framed guidelines for issue of such certificates. As per the guidelines, the applicants are required to submit the following three documents, in original in the prescribed format. 

(a) A medical certificate from the Medical Officer of a Government Hospital, as per the prescribed proforma. 

(b) A certificate from the manufacturer of a passenger car to the effect that a booking has been made with them and that the passenger car to be delivered to the disabled person has specifically been designed or fitted with special control devices or gadgets, depending upon the type of disability of the person, such as auto transmission, grip assembly, accelerator pedals, hand control, etc. fitted in the depending upon whether the disability is in right/left arm or in both legs or in combination. (Modified as above)

(c) An affidavit by the applicant, that he had not availed of this concession in the last 5 years and that he will not dispose of the cars with excise duty concession after purchase for a period of 5 years.

The necessary format can be downloaded from this link: Guidelines for availing excise duty concession.

The application fulfilling above three criteria needs to be sent to Under Secretary (AEI Section), Department of Heavy Industry (DHI), Udyog Bhavan, New Delhi. You may see the record of previous certificates issued at the website of Department of Heavy Industries here.


Discriminatory Guidelines by Marutu Suzuki India Limited (MSIL)

Despite the clear cut guidelines by the Central Government, often the customers with disabilities are harassed. This is in part due to lack of awareness, confusion of excise duty waiver with road tax exemption and discrimination by manufacturers. Take for example the case of biggest manufacturer in India -MSIL. They provide the excise duty concession only to customers with left leg disability which is discriminatory.

Maruti's (Nexa) discriminatory guidelines for excise duty concession 


Our letter to Secretary, DHI to stop MSIL's discrimination against customers with right leg disability


Petition in Court of Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Delhi

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Only left is right: Why disabled drivers miss discount trip. Times of India. 4 April 2016

Vijay Raj Khariwal vs Union of India & Ors. CW Case No. 2697 of 2005. High Court of Rajasthan upheld the right of customer with right leg disability to avail excise duty concession on car.

C. Paulraj vs Secretary. WP 9797 of 2008 & 11415 of 2008. The landmark decision where Judges says that Motor Vehicles Act do not prohibit a disabled person to adapt the vehicle as 'invalid carriage'. Similar verdict was given in High Court case R Ramaswamy vs Secretary, WP 4482 of 2008.


 Insurance Concession

A 50% discount is being given on insurance for a vehicle being specially designed/modified for a "blind, handicapped and mentally challenged person" as per IMT 12 (pages 183,184) of India Motor Tariff.

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Toll tax exemption

Gazette notification of National Highways Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Amendment  Rules, 2016 dated 8th June 2016.

NHAI
Circular No.NHAI/CO/11//2016 dated 13th June on the subject “Amendment to fee rules (Notification No. GSR 585E dated 8 June 2016 on exemption from payment of user fee in case of a mechanical vehicle specially designed and constructed for use of a person suffering from some physical defect or disability”
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Exemption of Road Tax 

The driving license issued to persons with orthopedic disabilities in India is under 'invalid carriage'. Ideally this word should go and replaced as 'adapted/altered carriage'. Since the manufacturers are not manufacturing any modified vehicles for persons with disabilities, we have to go to the local fabricators to get the modification done. Where are the big talks of Corporate Social Responsibility. The above quoted two judgments makes it clear that modifications in the vehicle are within the ambit of Motor Vehicles (MV) Act. Once registered under 'invalid carriage', a person with disability is entitled to get the road tax exemption as well. However, may times the RTO's harass persons with disabilities.

Can a person with hearing impairment apply for a driving licence?

Yes. National Association of the Deaf filed a PIL in Delhi High Court through Human Rights Law Network whereby the Court gave a landmark judgement that deaf people can undertake driving license test. Prior to this the MV Act automatically disqualified them. The judgement in this WP(C) 10849/2009 can be read here.


"Ability on Wheels" book is penned by Harish Kumar, is an attempt to answer all the questions which come to the mind of a person with disability when he dreams of buying a vehicle & driving on his own. This book also provides insights on safe driving, which are applicable to all & hence even people without disabilities can read this book & learn a lot of things about driving which they may have been ignorant of. This is a recommended book for knowing your rights. You can buy it from this link.

Car modification vendors : See the list on external website

Many manufacturers have turned away wheelchair users as they just can't believe that a wheelchair user can drive a car. This video is for them. Since manufacturers are not modifying vehicles for disabled, a disabled person won the National Award in 2009 for developing a cost effective product aimed at improving the life of persons with disabilities. We are proud of you Dr Lokesh Balhara! 

We are proud of Mr Harish Kumar and Mr Ravi Attri.

 

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