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Supreme Court: Private car on a public road is public place

This verdict means that activities such as smoking, which are banned in public places, will not be allowed in a private car on a public road.

 The Supreme Court of India has passed a judgment stating that any private car that is travelling on a public road can be deemed as a public place. This judgement means that any activity not allowed in a public space will not be allowed in a private car on a public road.

In 1999, the Kerala High Court had passed a judgment stating that a private car on a public road should be considered a private space. The Supreme Court judgement has overruled the High Court judgement.

The Supreme Court Judges ruled that the public may not have access to a private vehicle as a matter of right, but they have the opportunity to approach a private vehicle when it is on a public road.

The judges noted that ‘public conveyance’, which was not included from a notification passed in 1978 that defined public space, was introduced in the 2016 Bihar Excise (Amendment) Act. This amendment did away with the difference between public and private conveyance.

This verdict means that activities such as smoking, which are banned in public places, will not be allowed in a private car on a public road.

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