The Delhi Police have finally softened their stance on prosecuting owners and drivers of auto rickshaws who do not have public service vehicles (PSV) badges. The police will no longer prosecute auto drivers whose PSV badges have already expired and sent for renewal.
“But we will continue with our drive and prosecute auto drivers/owners, who do not have PSV badges at all. We will only spare the ones who have applied for renewal,” said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic).
The traffic police, who have initiated the special drive on June 6 and have already fined 8,249 auto rickshaws and impounded 1,095 autos, have decided to go easy with the drive, following communication from the transport department that the renewal process will be done in a month, said Garg.The Delhi Auto Rickshaw Sangh, affiliated to Bhartiya Majdur Sangh, however, resented the stance of the traffic police. Terming the drive as ‘an illegal move’, they demanded that the police should stop prosecuting auto drivers.
“There is no law in place that empowers the traffic police to prosecute the auto owners for not having PSV badges. Let the Delhi government issue a notification,” said Rajendra Soni, vice-president of the sangh. He said only one-third of the auto drivers have badges, while the transport department has not issued such badges to others.
“If the police still continue with the drive, we will go on a strike, which will paralyse the transport system in the city,” said Soni.