Delhi traffic police have apparently turned a blind eye to various private vehicles being run as commercial ones by several government offices in Delhi in clear violation of the Motor Vehicles Act.
It has been a usual practice with many government offices to hire private vehicles for office use. According to sources, the violators allegedly include Income Tax office and Railway Board among others.
Since such vehicles are registered as private, they are not supposed to work as commercial vehicles. But despite knowing about it, the traffic police are yet to act against them.
"We know the practice of hiring private vehicles by government offices. But we can only prosecute such vehicles when they are caught for other violations such as red light jumping, speeding," said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic).
Sources said many senior government officers are involved in this illegal practice. "There are cases where government officers were involved in getting contract for their relatives/ friends for supplying vehicles to the offices," sources said.
"Traffic police must stop this," said KK Kapila, chairman, International Road Federation (IRF).
Sources also pointed out that the Ministry of Railways has provided private vehicles on contract basis to directors of Railway Board.
When contacted, RC Jat, Secretary Railway Board, said: "I have no clue about the issue." A joint secretary-level officer also refused comment.
The ministry of external affairs, a few years ago, had reportedly made a rule that no private vehicle will be given a contract.
"Once, the finance ministry had also sought our view about this on-going practice. We had categorically told them that this is a clear violation of the Motor Vehicles Act," said a traffic police officer.
Under the Act, such violation attracts a fine of Rs. 2,000 and the police can also impound the vehicle.