Is the process of defining penalty for traffic offences arbitrary?
The Auto Rickshaw Drivers’ Union (ARDU) of Delhi has backed the plan of Delhi government to hand over the process of defining penalties for traffic violations by autorickshaw drivers to the Delhi Transport Department stating that the whole process of penalising them for traffic offences is “arbitrary”. In this regard, an application was filed with the Traffic Automation Centre (TAC) by the ARDU under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get information regarding the process.
The reply to the application shows that more than 23.66 lakh cases of traffic offences against autorickshaw drivers booked by the Traffic Automation Centre during the period from January 1, 2010 to May 31, 2013 are lying pending. It also shows that penalties amounting to Rs. 23 crore are also pending. Replying to the query regarding the process of serving the notices, the TAC said that the in-charge policemen note the registration numbers and a field traffic violation report is generated under Section 133 of the Indian Motor Vehicles (IMV) Act, on the basis of which the notices are sent to the vehicle owners. The RTI reply also said that many a complaints are registered via email. On the issue of referring cases to the court of law, the centre replied that compoundable offences are not referred to the court as under Section 200 of the IMV Act.
However, the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic) refuted the allegations stating that all challans raised in the TAC are backed by evidences and that the accused can approach court against every challan to prove their innocence.