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HomeIndiaTruck Drivers Protest Explained Truckers Opposing New Law For Hit-And-Run Cases Bharatiya Nyay...

Truck Drivers Protest Explained Truckers Opposing New Law For Hit-And-Run Cases Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita Modi Govt

There are long lines at gas stations in several states as truck drivers stage a statewide protest against the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS). Fears that the continuing truckers’ strike may interrupt the fuel supply chain, rather than fuel price spikes, are driving this demand surge. Essential supplies could also run out if the demonstrations continue, which is a major concern.

The new BNS’s punishment for hit-and-run accidents has sparked protests in several states, including Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Punjab, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Himachal Pradesh.

According to PTI, truckers in Maharashtra held ‘rasta roko’ demonstrations at various venues on Monday, mostly in opposition to the harsh fines and penalties that motorists face under the hit-and-run clause of the newly passed penal code. Tanker drivers in the Nashik area stopped what they were doing and parked more than a thousand cars near the village of Panewadi, which is a gasoline depot hub.

The Reasons Behind Truckers’ Protests

Protests have persisted because people are unhappy with the BNS, which replaced the Indian Penal Code that was in effect during colonial rule. Drivers responsible for major accidents who do not report them face severe penalties under the law, which include fines and prison terms of up to ten years.

Many people who work with commercial cars, like truckers, taxi drivers, and others, are worried that they won’t be able to pay such astronomical fines if they are ever involved in an accident.

Protesters in Navi Mumbai attacked a police officer at the NRI police station in Nerul, turning the agitation into a violent incident. To regain control, the police resorted to force, which resulted in the detention of forty truck drivers. According to PTI, 400 individuals in Kalamboli staged a ‘rasta roko’ on the Mumbai-Bengaluru highway, calling for the new provision to be dropped.

Remarks on Hit-and-Run Accidents from the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita

Fatalities caused by careless driving or hit-and-run incidents are punishable under the BNS. Two provisions are added to the law under Section 104 after it has been approved by Parliament and obtained the President’s assent. The first carries a fine and a possible prison sentence of seven years for reckless or negligently causing death. The second may result in a fine and a maximum sentence of 10 years if the offender flees the site of the crime or fails to report it. The old law, Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code, which allowed for fines or prison terms of up to two years for comparable acts, has been superseded by the new statute.

“(1) Whoever causes the death of any person by doing any rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine,” according to the first section.

“(2) Whoever causes the death of any person by doing any rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide and escapes from the scene of incident or fails to report the incident to a Police officer or Magistrate soon after the incident, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description of a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine,” according to the second section.

The Opposition’s Views on BNS’s Hit-and-Run Provision

While discussing the protests and their impact on drivers’ life, Gyansingh Yadav, a cab driver from Bhopal, broke down in tears. People who work as taxi drivers, like me, could still be at home late at night. However, truck drivers frequently go fifteen days or longer without seeing their families. We are not opposed to the government or any laws, but I do think there needs to be some revision, particularly with the penalties for drivers. Drivers who disobey the new law face a maximum of 10 years in prison. “In my opinion, it ought to be shortened to one or two years,” Yadav stated to the news agency ANI on Monday.

A bus driver in Raipur, Chhattisgarh, lamented the unfairness of the law and demanded punishment for car owners rather than the economically disadvantaged. Poor folks, we are. The people who own our cars ought to face consequences. According to ANI, the bus driver stated, “This law is unjust on us and we will continue to go on strike unless our demands are met.

Government Official Says Truckers Will Not Face Strict Punishment for Reporting Accidents

According to a senior government official, anyone who reports an unintentional collision to the police or brings the victim to the nearest hospital swiftly will not face prosecution under the strict sections of the BNS, according to PTI’s citation of Tuesday’s announcement.

In response to the truckers’ valid worries, the official brushed them off as baseless and emphasized that the hit-and-run provision would only apply to drivers trying to avoid accountability by not reporting the incident to the authorities.According to PTI’s reporting of the official’s statement, the severe penalty will also be imposed in cases of drunk driving accidents.

According to sources quoted by PTI, the Supreme Court’s observations led to the amended rule that increases the punishment for hit-and-run instances to 10 years.

Truckers’ Protest and Its Effects on Gasoline Supply

Thousands of tanker drivers have joined the protest, which has caused a fuel shortage in multiple locations. Fuel stations could run dry if the protests continue, said Bhushan Bhosale, president of the Nashik District Petrol Dealers Association (PTI).

Officials in several districts of Madhya Pradesh have assured PTI that petrol is not in limited supply. These districts include Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, and Jabalpur. Ajay Singh, president of the Madhya Pradesh Petroleum Dealers Association, promised that the state’s fuel supplies would return to normal by Tuesday night. He emphasized that sufficient steps are being made to ensure a steady supply of fuel, according to PTI.

The Hit-and-Run Provision in BNS Must Be Removed, According to Congress

In response to the demonstrations, Congress lawmaker Rahul Gandhi took to X and said, “The insistence on making laws without discussion with the affected class and without dialogue with the opposition is a constant assault on the soul of democracy.” This was another way in which Gandhi criticized the Modi government. Instead of dealing with the foundation of the Indian economy, the dictator in Parliament passed a bill punishing drivers that might have disastrous effects after suspending more than 150 MPs. The livelihoods of this hardworking class, who have minimal income, can be devastated by the imposition of high legal fines.

On top of that, the’recovery mechanism’ can be used to promote organized corruption if this law is abused. He continued by saying, “The government, which uses the whip to drive democracy, appears to have forgotten the difference between ‘the emperor’s decree’ and ‘justice.'”

The Maharashtra Congress, which is headed by Nana Patole, had already called for the hit-and-run clause to be removed because they believed it was unfair and too punitive for drivers. According to PTI, Patole stated that the government had passed an oppressive law, and the party promised to back the truck drivers.

The All India Transport Congress is scheduled to convene on Tuesday, with Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla serving as chair. The meeting will focus on the protests against the ‘hit-and-run’ clause in the new criminal legislation.

 

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