First Hand Experience
Today morning itself I was stopped by the cops in New Delhi, initially he checked all the documents and then clicked a pic of my car and told me that I have to pay a challan for blocking the visibility. Although the challan wasn't done after I requested and co-operated, but here are some excerpts from the conversation I had with him: Me
: But these aren't sunfilm, they are magnetic sunshades. Cop
: Doesn't matter, if I am unable to look what's going on inside the car, it is illegal
. Even if it's a handkerchief or some cloth. Me
: But many cars come with roll up-down down sun screens. And supreme court has only banned the sunfilms. Cop
: Why? crime can't be done behind this thing? Anything that blocks the visibility is illegal and can be fined. Me
: But supreme court has given that ruling. Cop
: Let me fine you, I have picture of your car in my phone (Like we click of other offenders). You are free to go to court, many have gone against me in past, all were fined. Now don't tell me what the law is, go and check yourself. Me
: Thank you. What I concluded after talking to him:
- Anything that obstructs the visibility is illegal, no matter what it is.
- If you are allowed to use sun blinds, it is the courtesy and not a legal right. The cop told it to me loud and clear.
- No matter what, you better drive without these shades while it's dark.
- You may feel the heat without the shades, the cop standing under direct sun feels it more than you and is not having a very cool mind too. Better don't try to tell him what the law is, he knows it better.
Later I checked for what the ruling was, here I found something interesting: "No black film or any material can be pasted on the windscreens or side glasses of a vehicle," the bench said, imposing a complete ban on plastic films in unambiguous terms.
Some will say that the magnetic sun shades aren't pasted on the glass and hence are legal. Well, the cop had a clear reasoning that if anything else replaces the sunfilms and obstructs his visibility, it is any ways aiding the criminals and hence is illegal. I personally found his reasoning quite valid. So my suggestion is:
Until it's under tolerance limits, there is no legal alternative to the sunfilms. If a cop stops you and try to fine you for the same. Better apologize and take the shades off with a request not to fine you and assurance to not use them again. If you will try telling him what the law is, you will be fined - that's for sure.