On June 26, Dharmesh Hingorani sensed something amiss with the meter of the autorickshaw he had hired to go from JVPD to Bandra.
After he complained, the Bandra traffic police and the Regional Transport Office (RTO) at Andheri took the auto driver to task, impounded his licence and even fined him.
According to RK Chavan, senior inspector of the Bandra traffic outpost, Hingorani, a resident of Laxmi Nagar in Goregaon (West), took an auto rickshaw from JVPD 10th Road around 4.45pm to travel to Bandra 16th Road.
He sensed that the meter was running faster than normal and complained to a traffic policeman stationed nearby, who directed him to the Bandra traffic outpost.
At the outpost, the traffic policemen told Hingorani to give his complaint in writing. The policemen then seized auto driver Harilal Yadav's licence and impounded his autorickshaw, instructing him to take up the matter with the Andheri RTO.
The following day, Yadav, a resident of Indira Nagar slum in Vile Parle (West), visited the RTO where he was asked to test his autorickshaw by driving it on a one-kilometre track.
After comparing the readings to a regular meter, the RTO officers concluded that Yadav's meter was rigged. For every reading of 1.20 in a normal autorickshaw, Yadav's rigged meter showed 1.40, which amounted to wrongfully charging of approximately Rs. 2.50 extra for every kilometre.
"The RTO, in a letter to us [Bandra traffic outpost], said Yadav's meter was faulty and that he could not produce valid documents for the vehicle. Hence, his licence was impounded by the transport office. His vehicle was also seized and he was asked to pay a fine of Rs. 15,000," said Chavan.