Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Sunday said around 30% driving licences in the country were bogus.

An official said the Ministry has collated data of about 18 crore licences and an estimated 5.4 crore fall under the “bogus” category, which need to be checked.

An earlier government survey of about six crore driving licences had found nearly 74 lakh fake ones.

“In India, 30 per cent of the licences are bogus. We need to check it. We are going to start an online system where computerised tests will be conducted to obtain driving licences. Every one, whether a politician, an official or a celebrity, will have to take the test to get the licence,” Nitin Gadkari said.

Those found to be driving with fake licences may soon be jailed for up to a year in addition to a hefty penalty of Rs 10,000, up from the current penalty provision of Rs 500 and a maximum jail term of three months.

In case of juvenile drivers, the owner of the vehicle or the driver’s guardian will face stricter penalties of up to three years in jail and fine of up to Rs. 20,000, and their vehicle registration certificate may also be cancelled.

On the passage of the Road Transport and Safety Bill as key to make Indian roads safer, he said about 1.5 lakh people die every year in the country in road accidents and the proposed law will overhaul the entire system including about issuance of driving licences.

The Bill has been facing delays due to opposition from “vested interests” in Regional Transport Offices who are opposed to “transparency and computerisation”, Gadkari said.


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