Kuldeep Joshi, one of the persons who recently lost vision in one of his eyes due to an accident and faced issues with getting a driving license, shared a judgement of the Delhi High Court with regard to the driving license for the people who are deaf.

This judgement, appearing first in 2011, has some implications for the people with monocular vision as well.

The court, in its judgement, does not give any directive particularly with regard to barring the deaf people for a driving license. The last point from this order is worth quoting here and is produced as it is below:

"We will be failing in our duty if we do not note the other submission of Mr.Gonsalves that certain persons who are totally deaf have the capacity to drive vehicles. He has referred to prevalent practices in many other countries. The learned senior counsel has laid emphasis on the international standard. On a perusal of the policy decision, we find that the experts have fixed a standard regard being had to the Indian conditions. The grounds ascribed in the policy decision as Mr.Chandhiok, learned Additional Solicitor General, would submit are meant to protect the collective at large from the road accidents. Thus, the claim put forth by the petitioners that they should be granted driving licence and should not be debarred from getting a licence, per se, is not justified. As has been stated earlier, for grant of a learner‘s licence, filing of medical certificate is not required but the applicant is required to go through the test as stipulated under Rule 11 of the 1989 Rules. For grant of a driving licence, one has to satisfy the conditions precedent as postulated under Section 9 and pass the test as stipulated under Rule 15 of the 1989 Rules. The claim of further privilege by totally deaf persons as a special category, in our consideration, is not permissible. However, we are obliged to certify that if an applicant is totally deaf, he has to be called for the test if he applies for a learner‘s licence without the medical certificate and if he passes the test as required under Rule 11, he shall be granted the learner‘s licence as that is the statutory requirement. Similarly, if a person belonging to the said category satisfies the necessary criteria, he shall be allowed to obtain the licence. We are not inclined to direct that the special conditions which are permitted by other countries for grant of licence to the persons who are completely deaf as the same, we are disposed to think, is in the domain of the legislature, for the legislature understands the prevalent conditions in a set up where separation of power is an insegregable facet of the basic structure of the Constitution of India."

As we see here, if the deaf people are eligible to get a license, why should the people with monocular license have any issues in getting one? Considering that this a we are considered normal people, this discrimination is like denying a virtual basic rights guaranteed to us by the constitution itself.

Kuldeep gathered the following relevant interpretation from the judgement which "may take care of denial of of issuing Form 1A by medical officer and learners license or driving license by the RTO.

If we want to make a difference in the way we and many persons with similar issue are treated then I suggest all of us should think of taking up action on the following lines

1) Apply for learners license and get it endorsed for being rejected. (as even rejection of learners license is appeal able). You may choose to attach the judgment.
2) If the RTO is insisting of civil surgeon certificate, please ask RTO to provide the reference letter (addressed to the local authorised medical officer) to the applicant. Or let the RTO reject the application on the ground of absence of medical certificate.
3) If the medical officer refuses to certify the fitness, ask him to provide the reason in writing on the Form1-A. Ask them to note down result vision tests on the same form or any other written document
4) For medical officers, it is required to take acknowledgement of all the correspondence with them in writing.
5) The medical officer being a civil servant have to give in writing his opinion and reason for the same. You can use RTI effectively, to extract the required information from them. If the medical officer does not give the certificate or his opinion in writing we can sue him for deficiency of service in the appropriate consumer forum.
6) File a appeal with the transport commissioner for denial of learners license or driving license, use the high court judgment over there.From the document that I have read the fee for the appeal is Rs 25/-
7) If the transport commissioner rejects the appeal then you/we have done a solid groundwork and gathered enough documents to go for a writ petition in high court in case of an individual or PIL for the whole group of monocular vision persons.

You can refer to following links for the relevant acts:

Each state may have its own set of rules, which you may please search.

Link to motor Maharashtra motor vehicle rules is



As I always say, god helps those who help themselves, we all should take the matters in our own hand and get what has been wrongly denied to many of us."


The people with monocular vision in India have been facing a great hurdle in getting a driving license.

The Motor Vehicle Act in India is rather clear to a great lot with respect to allowing the people with monocular vision to drive. I have stated this several times through other posts on this site.

What does the research community say on safe driving for people with monocular vision? Thanks to Kuldeep Joshi, I have come across a few relevant research articles, mostly from the ophthalmologists from the US. Below I provide links to some of such articles.

But before I do that, let me point out a few pointers here. One of the articles, by Oswey and McGin (1999), has the following to say about driving for people with monocular vision:

"The driving performance among drivers with real monocular vision has been assessed in a number of other studies. In a study of 10,000 drivers, Johnson and Keltner reported that drivers with monocular visual field loss had a crash rate equal to that of a control group of drivers with both eyes. Smaller studies by Edwards and Schachat and McKnight et al reported results consistent with these findings. However, not all studies support the conclusion that monocularity does not create a safety problem. From an unmarked police car, Liesmaa observed drivers’ behavior during overtaking another car or entering a road junction. Drivers who were considered dangerous were stopped, and their vision was assessed. A control group of nondangerous drivers was also stopped. The authors reported that there were three times as many one-eyed drivers among the dangerous drivers than among the control drivers. Keeney reported that monocularity was more common among a group of drivers with various driving transgressions than among patients in a general ophthalmologic practice. Based on their review of the literature, Keeney and Garvey concluded that monocular drivers should not be licensed to drive commercial vehicles."

Please note this article was published in 1999 and is based on several case studies.

Some of the take-aways from the articles listed below are as follows:

- Driving with monocular vision is safe with no issue for public safety

- Driving commercial vehicles (like heave trucks) is at best 'controversial' and not prohibitory.

- The functional peripheral vision required for driving is met by all the people having normal vision in at least one eye.


Owsley-McGwin. 1999. Public Health and the Eye
Dobbs. NSTS. 2005. Medical Conditions and Driving - A Review of Literature (1960-2000)
International Council of Ophthalmology. 2006. Vision Requirements for Driving Safety
Ihrig and Schaefer. 2007. Acquired Monocular Vision Rehabilitation program
Catharine Chisholm. 2008. Visual Requirements for Driving
EliPeli. 2008. Driving with low vision-who where when and why
Bron etal. 2010. International vision requirements for driver licensing and disability pensions
Owsley and McGwin. 2010. Vision and Driving


Youtube Video

This is the citizen report on our fight with the transport department which has been constantly denying a driving license to people with monocular vision. Some officials at the Delhi transport department have denied the DL to Shivraj Kumar and Kapil Kaushal from Delhi because of the monocular vision. But this only encouraged Shivraj Kumar and Kapil Kaushal to show their courage. And they took the means to fight for what is their right: a right to be treated as normal people and not as a disabled person.

The show has been aired on Saturday, 15 September, 2012 9:30 PM and the next day on 11:30 AM and 5:30 PM on CNN-IBN. Here is the full video of the show as aired on CNN-IBN.

As you are aware, we had notified in an earlier post two weeks ago that the CNN-IBN news channel is going to make a case of our fight with the transport department. Well, they had done with taking our views. They had talked to several people including us (Shivraj, Kapil and Narayan and others). But they also wanted to take the views of the government officials. They were trying to take some footage of these officials. But these officials have been trying to avoid to make any statement on this issue. At the forefront of this citizen reporting are Shivraj and Kapil. They have been trying to talk to some of these officials, including the MLOs and the commissioner at the regional transport department at Delhi. Below is an excerpt of the effort they have made along with the CNN-IBN reporter Akanksha.

Mail from Kapil to me a while ago:


Had an irresponsible & negative attitude from the PA of commissioner today as CNN-IBN team approached Transport Department. As you already knew that several mails and repeated calls could not get us an appointment all because of their negligence. It was necessary to get commissioner's opinion before airing the show, so we approached his PA. On seeing the camera he just got flamed & kept outcrying that we people didn't have an appointment & what we are doing (shooting) is wrong. He didn't even bother to ask our concern (he already knew). Despite keep arguing on that we had mailed & called plenty times to get appointment, his main focus was on appointment and he kept blazing his guns, he tried to dismount the camera too and later left the room. But with the courage of Akansha and cameraman all is caputured :)

We tried to approach Commissioner but he had already fumed from his room. All it revealed that it was predetermined to not to speak about this issue on camera, which only leads to confusion.

As CNN-IBN is done with their shooting, the show is all set to be aired. Timing is :- Saturday 9:30 pm & sunday 5:30 pm. Make a notice of it on website. The show will be aired in episodes and the duration will be 4-5 mins each episode as told by Akansha. Shivraj has asked to publish the page of Hindustan Times on website, try if possible.


Tune in to CNN-IBN this Saturday 9:30 PM for the citizen journalist show.

The show has been aired on Saturday, 15 September, 2012 9:30 PM and the next day on 11:30 AM and 5:30 PM. The show can also be viewed by clicking the link below:


Dainik Hindustan Reports the Anomalies in the Issuance of Driving Licenses in Delhi

The Dainik Hindustan (the Hindi newspaper, Delhi edition dated 13th July, 2012 page 3), came up with a news report on the anomalies and corruptions rife in the issuance of driving license to people in Delhi. The attached image is the clipping from the news. The whole of page 3 can be seen by clicking here. For those who do not know how to read Hindi, I am providing a translation of he news report below:

Obtaining a Medical Certificate for Driving License

Why is The Need

We have been receiving calls from throughout the country; people with monocular vision are not able to take a bit further to Driving License as they are not being issued with the Medical Certificate (Form 1A). As I have toiled through the process, I am here to help our fellows to get Medical Certificate as much as I can.

Universal Visual Standards to hold a Driving License for monocular vision:-

First of all let us discuss visual standards set for a person with monocular vision to hold a Driving License for private transport in the world. In countries like US, UK visual standards are referred to BCVA & Peripheral vision & they are defined differently for every state. Standards applicable are:-

CNN-IBN Reporting on Driving License Issues for People with Monocular Vision in India

Hi guys,

I have just got the confirmation that CNN-IBN will be out in the field to make a case on the driving license for the people with monocular vision in India. You are kindly requested to contact Shivraj Kumar at his email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in Delhi. His contact number is 9891166677

Shivraj is in Delhi and is assisted by Kapil Kaushal. You can join them and co-ordinate with him to participate in the reporting this case.

Come on guys make a good case of it and make it a national issue to spread awareness among the officials and the doctors.

Driving License for People with Monocular Vision: Fresh cases of Discrimination and Harassment by the Transport Departments

Hi guys,

It has been long since I posted a new article here.

But now is the time to give you updates on what has been going on in the background.

Today I bring you the case of two people who are fighting to get a driving license the legal way.

As I have reported before, I am also a person with a monocular vision. And I have fought the legal way to get a driving license from the motor vehicle department at Delhi. My case was a unique one and I thought to share the processes of my journey to get a DL as I went through them. When I shared my fight with the motor vehicle department at Delhi, I was thinking my case should be enlightenment for others facing the same situation as that of mine. As I have reported before, I fought my case and I also won it and got the driving license in 2010.

Why is the precedence not holding true in other offices!

But alas, despite the precedence of mine getting the driving license through the legal methods, I see that people are still facing the case of denial. Even though I have shared a scan copy of the RTI reply from the Delhi Transport Department stating that people with monocular vision are eligible to get a driving license if they furnish a medical certificate in the prescribed format, I see that several offices in Delhi are still denying a Driving License to people despite that they provide all the necessary documents and certificates.