The Indian government and regulatory bodies have time and again raised their concern over the rising air pollution levels in the environment. They have also actively been working towards bringing down the levels by imposing certain norms and regulations. Moving in the same direction has come a new directive related to the Pollution Under Control (PUC) certification that is issued to different classes of vehicles. According to a new circular issued by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) to all the insurance providers in the country, the new guidelines dictate that all vehicle owners need to produce a valid Pollution Under Control certificate at the time of renewal of their motor insurance policy. The insurance providers are under strict directions to not renew the insurance of any vehicle that does not have a valid PUC certificate.
It is to be noted that carrying a PUC certificate at all times in the vehicle is a mandatory requirement, without which a vehicle can be fined. The e-challan payment for the same can be made online, as well as offline. According to the new directives by the IRDAI, in case a vehicle gets into an accident and has an expired PUC certificate, the insurance companies are not liable to cover any damages incurred by the vehicle. This new norm has come in the wake of the directives issued by the Supreme Court in July 2018, in the matter of MC Mehta vs Union of India, where insurance companies were instructed to not provide insurance renewals to vehicles that do not have a valid PUC certificate at the time of renewal. The IRDAI has emphasized that the Pollution Under Control certificate is essential for all the applications and insurance renewals, but not it is required for insurance claims.
An excerpt from the circular, which was issued on August 20, 2020, reads, “Central pollution control board (CPCB) has raised concerns regarding status of compliance of above direction of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in National Capital Region of Delhi (Delhi – NCR). Please ensure that the direction of the Supreme Court of India is followed scrupulously with special focus on compliance in the National Capital Region of Delhi (Delhi – NCR).”.
Hence, if you have a vehicle that is supposed to have its insurance renewed, you must make sure that your PUC certificate is up to date. If your PUC certificate is expired, you can get it renewed by visiting any authorities PUC test centre or any petrol station. After your vehicle undergoes an emission test and has emission levels that fall under the permissible safe limits, your vehicle would then be issued a new Pollution Under Control certificate. You can also do a PUC certificate download online through the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) web portal, called Parivahan Sewa. There, you can check and verify the details of your PUC certificate. You cannot, however, renew your PUC certificate online. For that, you will have to visit your nearest emission test centre.