A local court has directed the Delhi Transport Authority to initiate a probe into a challan racket running in New Delhi, saying it helps errant drivers to escape the law by filing "delayed" challans.
Metropolitan Magistrate Sadhika Jalan, who passed the order while hearing a bunch of complaints, said the "system adopted in filing these challans has unfortunately become self serving for delinquent accused rather than meeting the ends of justice" and that "it cannot be allowed to go on further".
"It is felt by this court that accused are evading these challans in connivance maybe with departmental officials, to delay their coming to court.
"It is felt that a belief system has developed whereby the accused feels assured that he would not be caught if he does not reply to the notice in time and would actually be better off by not replying as eventually that would make the complaint outside period of limitation and they would consequently have to not pay any fine," the court said.
It directed the Secretary and Commissioner of the State Transport Authority (STA) to initiate an inquiry by an officer not below the rank of Additional Commissioner.
"The challans, which are based on telephone complaints, made against erring TSR/taxi drivers are sent to the court after expiry of six months from date of complaint was first made which makes them time barred and the court thus declines cognisance," the court observed.
It noted that there were no application for condonation of delay with these challans.
"Thus the challan becomes time barred and court usually declines the cognisance saving the errant drivers from any penalty in the matter," the court said.
It also noted that the challans, dated back to 2012 and 2013, had no documents annexed with them proving that notice was served or the report of the process server when challan was not able to be served.
The court said that the STA representative failed to explain about the irregularities found in the challans.
It further directed that a copy of its order be sent to Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police (Traffic) for information and necessary action at his end.