The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that only motorbikes equipped with adequate safety features for pillion riders will be allowed on the roads.
The verdict can help drastically reduce accidents and was expected to impact the sales of millions of motorbikes in India.
A division bench, headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, dismissed an appeal filed by SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers) against a Madhya Pradesh High Court order of November 2008 which had banned the registration of motorbikes that do not have safety features for pillion riders.
The apex court order came after hearing in detail the arguments from petitioner, one Gyan Prakash and the SIAM and others.
Bike wheels will be half covered so that sari or dupatta may not get inside the wheels, the Supreme Court said in its order and added that only those motorcycles will be registered which have these safety features.
Manufacturers will have to change the design of the bikes, the apex court held.
An amendment to the Motor Vehicles Act stipulates that every bike should have a pillion rider holder (handle). And wheels be half covered. However, this was not being implemented, forcing the petitioner to knock the doors of the apex court for redressal.