The Indian Supreme Court probably wanted to take a break from looking at more weighty matters and chose to focus on a frivolous PIL submitted by someone who claims to represent the “Mango” People (Aam Aadmi). Supposedly sun film is the cause for all the law and order issues in the country and that it should be banned altogether – there is no legal % of visual light transmission that can be used. Only factory fitted tinted and laminated glass that conforms to the CMVR rules can be used.
Legality apart -the sun film manufacture/sales industry supposedly provides around 150 crore to the Indian economy. These people will be badly hit if all sun film is made illegal to use. There is a fee for getting the sun film removed – this is not something that is usually done – but now the installers themselves are getting a chance to make money by “assisting” the removal for a fee of anywhere between 300 -500 Rs ! They hope to milk this for at least a month and then raise petitions to remove the ban. The ban will get removed within no time. Then again people will flock to get the film added back. With all the FUD going on people will gladly shell out more money to get costlier “clear” film that reduces heat transmission. The sun film companies make money either way.
Doing a net search shows sun film bans have been talked about since 2007 in parts of India – but this has not been consistently enforced. I remember having a dilemma when buying my Swift(photo in this post) in 2007 about putting sun film but since there was nothing clearly specified or enforced I went in with tints with 50% VLT which were legal at the time. However now 5 years later the same tints are now illegal. Our 7 year old Getz has films with around 70% VLT as well.
My Next Steps:
- I personally will wait and watch what will play out. All speculation online points towards the drives to strip out sun-film to be strong for the next month or so at most if not less
- Plan on keeping Rs 100-1000 as the fine for getting caught and pay it and get a receipt for the fine as well. Why the range – because the cops do not have a clear fine specified – it seems to vary !
- If forced to remove the sun film by the cops I will do so – but feel I will also park at the side and then make sure they catch and remove sun film from all vehicles that go by including cops, ministers, actors etc.
- I will not put back the sun film on my cars after that – hate to spend more money on a commodity which can be legal one day and magically be made illegal the next. Also hate the feeling of being taken for a ride by the cops and the legal system which is not consistent nor effective in its mandates.
Points to Ponder:
- Different states seem to be interpreting the rule differently – some targeting only the darker tints while some are targeting even the lightest and even the clear films – if you are planning drives across states – make sure you drive without sun film to be in the clear.
- Are the cops so good at catching anti-social elements/terrorists by visually identifying them from a distance ? This is assuming they don’t already move around wearing some disguise in crowded buses and trains !
- As many online have commented – is there a way to measure the crime rate coming down drastically when vehicles do not have sun film ?
- Wont the kidnappers/rapists start using panel vans/load carrying trucks instead of just vehicles with dark tints?
- Just because of a rising trend in vehicle accidents – is the solution a ban of all vehicles altogether?
- Just like knives are used in murders – they should be banned altogether
- Terrorists use hotels, houses etc – so can they be banned as well ? Or as an alternative – ban all windows, doors and hey why stop there – ban all walls – we just need protection from the rain and just need the roof over our heads – walls should not be there – just to make sure all the moral police can happily peer into our bedrooms and bathrooms !
- Full face helmets with tints on them obscure the faces of the riders/also there may be some nefarious activities going on under the tinted face shields- can they be banned as well ?
What are your thoughts on this ban ? Do let me know and what will be your action – comply or get caught or what ?
Update – May 18th,2012:
Today’s news papers indicate that the Chennai City Traffic Police (CTP) has started their drive against sun films. They have posted a notice on their FB page as well. All are free to comment on this drive. I already have !
Do Show Your Support:
Do show your support against this ban by “Liking” this FB page calling for a Movement Against Supreme Court’s Decision to Totally Ban Suncontrol Films. There is also a petition here “The Supreme Court of India: Reconsider decision on a blanket ban on car films.”