Court asks BIS to supervise manufacture, sale of headgears

Chennai: Months after the government said that only Bureau of Indian Standards certified two-wheeler helmets can be sold from 1 June, 2021, the Delhi High Court on Monday said it was essential for the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to strictly monitor and supervise the manufacture and sale of helmets as it concerns the safety and security of the consumers.

Justice Prathiba M Singh made the observation while hearing an NGO’s plea claiming no action has been taken by BIS on more than 1,400 complaints made by it from 2019 till date highlighting various alleged illegalities and irregularities in manufacture and sale of helmets.

In its petition, Utprerit Consumer Foundation, has also claimed that BIS was not properly monitoring and supervising the manufacture and sale of the protective head gear.

After hearing brief arguments on the issue, the Judge said, “Considering that safety and security of consumers is at stake, strict monitoring and supervision of the manufacture and sale of helmets is essential.”

The court directed BIS to look into the complaints made by the NGO and to file a status report indicating the action taken on them and the steps taken by the authority to monitor and supervise the manufacture and sale of helmets to ensure there was no misuse of the ISI mark.

In November last year, the Road Ministry had issued the Helmet for Riders of Two Wheelers Motor Vehicles (Quality Control) Order, 2020 to ensure quality and prevent sale of low quality two wheeler helmets.

As per the recommendations of an expert Committee, the BIS has revised specifications through which helmets are expected to be lighter.

The Committee was formed as per the directions of the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety for considering lighter helmets in India suiting the country’s climatic conditions and to ensure compliance amongst citizen.

The Committee had various experts, including doctors from AIIMS and also from BIS. In March 2018, after detailed analysis, it recommended lighter helmets for India – which the Road Ministry accepted. The BIS has revised specifications which would make the helmets lighter.

 

NT Bureau