The Punjab and Haryana high court has restrained the community policing resource centres (CPRC), Ludhiana, and other CPRCs from retaining any amount out of towing charges and directed that surplus amount after payment to towing agencies shall be deposited in the government treasury.
A division bench comprising acting chief justice Jasbir Singh and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain on Tuesday issued notices to Punjab, Haryana and the Chandigarh administration on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Kuldeep Singh Khaira through advocate HC Arora, seeking appropriate directions to them to strictly follow provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act regarding towing of wrongly parked vehicles.
The petitioner alleged in the PIL that at many places in Punjab, the police authorities, instead of depositing towing charges collected from owners of wrongly parked vehicles in the government treasury, were appropriating a portion of such charges.
According to the PIL, Shunty Motor Recovery Store and Recovery Service, Ludhiana, was selected as the towing agency in the city in February 2012 and an agreement was signed by the CPRC, Ludhiana, with the agency to the effect that out of every Rs 500 collected from owners of wrongly parked vehicles as fine, Rs 400 shall be given to the agency and the remaining retained by the CPRC.
As per the PIL, out of Rs 51.66 lakh collected as fine from wrongly parked vehicles in seven months, the CPRC retained about Rs 19 lakh, which should have been deposited in the government account.
While issuing a notice of motion to the respondent for May 15, the high court directed that although the scheme for towing wrongly parked vehicles would continue, the share of CPRCs shall be deposited only in the government treasury and not retained by them.