After years of regularly impounding vehicles, Delhi Traffic Police have conceded they haven’t been following a mandatory requirement. The requirement in question is form OSS (offence seizure slip) that needs to be filled in and handed over to the owner or in charge of the seized vehicle — as mandated by the Motor Vehicles Act — while seizing vehicles.
In reply to an application under the Right to Information (RTI), which specifically asked “Was form OSS issued for each seized auto rickshaw?” among 13 other related questions, Delhi’s traffic police chose to give indirect or improper answers to most of them.
The RTI was filed in April 2007 by Rakesh Agarwal of Nyaybhoomi, an NGO, who questioned the faulty modus operandi of the traffic police while seizing vehicles and cancelling permits of commercial drivers.
After much haggling with the first appellate authority, Agarwal approached the Central Information Commission (CIC) last year. In its decision a few weeks ago, the CIC asked Delhi Traffic Police to provide satisfactory replies and relevant data to the applicant.
Traffic police chief SN Shrivastava defended the omission. “Nothing is gained (by filling yet another form)...it adds to more paperwork. Moreover, the practice of not filling the form OSS has not been followed for years,” he said.