Lt Governor Najeeb Jung has already given a green signal to the proposal that makes it compulsory for women to wear a helmet while riding on a two-wheeler. Since the Model Code of Conduct is in place in the capital, a go-ahead from the Election Commission has been sought by the Delhi transport department to take into account the recommendations and grievances of the common public in this regard.

After getting permission from the Election Commission, the opinion of the common public in this matter would be duly mulled over upon.

Necessary amendments would be then made in the Delhi Motor Vehicle Act to make it obligatory for every woman to put on helmet while driving or sitting on a two-wheeler.

According to the Central Motor Vehicle Act, all the two-wheeler riders and pillions are obliged to put on helmets while driving. Only Sikhs with uncut hairs do not come under this rule.

In 1993, during the tenure of Sahib Singh-led BJP government in Delhi, Sikh women were given permission to ride on a two-wheeler without a helmet following strong protests from the Sikh community at that time.

Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (DSGPC) president Manjit Singh GK has written a letter to Jung, urging him to allow Sikh women to drive or sit on a two-wheeler without the obligation of wearing a helmet.

In his letter to Jung, GK also referred to amendments made by Sahib Singh Verma-led government in the Delhi Motor Vehicle Act in 1993.

The DSGPC president also urged Jung to allow only elected representatives of the public to make any kind of amendments in this act. He added the basic principles of the Sikh religion does not approve of any kind of cap.

Several Baptist Sikh women wear ‘dumaalas’ (religious turban) on their heads and their heads have to be covered with heavy ‘chunni’  everytime, therefore it is not possible for them to put on helmets, GK wrote in his letter.

GK added that the decision to wear a helmet or not should be left on a Sikh woman’s prerogative.

(JPN/Bureau)

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