State Transport Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, who announced this in the Kerala assembly Friday, reiterated his statement on Saturday and added that such a rule is not implemented anywhere in the country.
He was reacting after media reports surfaced that Transport Commissioner Rishi Raj Singh is unhappy with the minister who has now rescinded Singh's order of June 5 making it compulsory for passengers on the rear seats of vehicles to wear seat belts. Singh has decided to go on a month- long leave following this development.
"Such an order is not there anywhere in our country and in Kerala 80 percent of the vehicles do not have rear seat belts," said Radhakrishnan.
"I have no idea if Singh has applied for leave," he added.
Singh is said to be a stickler for rules and over the years he has rubbed many politicians the wrong way. Even though Singh is a senior police official, he has mostly got non-police postings.
Singh's order came soon after the medical reports of Union minister Gopinath Munde, who died in a car accident in Delhi, indicated that his life could have been saved if he had worn a seat belt while occupying the rear seat .
Singh came under fire when this issue was raised in the assembly Friday and was dismissed as a person who resorts to gimmicks to attract media attention.
But Saturday, Union Minister for Health Harsh Vardhan demanded that the law for wearing rear seat belts in vehicles should be enforced. He said that he has spoken to his cabinet colleague who handles the Surface Transport portfolio about this issue.