This is one effect the traffic police didn’t intend to have when they launched their drive against drink driving.
A total of 2,670 cases — 2,381 related to drink driving — have piled up in the last three years at the 11 special magistrate courts in the city that conduct trials in traffic violation cases. The traffic police kicked off their drive in mid-2007.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate NS Borse said in his report submitted to the Bombay High Court last week that this was how the numbers stacked up as of February 18 this year. All these cases are ones in which a trial is being held because the offender has not admitted his crime. The report did not mention cases that had been disposed of.
Two courts in Borivli account for more than half of the pending cases — 1,578, to be exact, of which 1,240 are about drink driving. That is followed by the courts of the special magistrates in Andheri and Dadar, which have 488 and 389 pending cases respectively. All this despite the fact that there is no prosecutor in such cases, and there is hardly any evidence to be recorded by the court.
“The traffic constable who books you is the only witness in such cases,” said Anil Gidwani, a Bandra resident who has filed a petition in the high court against the “inordinate delay” in deciding traffic violation cases. It was on his plea that the court on January 28 sought a report on the working of the 11 courts and the number of pending cases.
Gidwani said he moved court in January after witnessing many adjournments “for no reason” and has claimed a loss of Rs 1.20 lakh because he had to attend court. Nitin Dossa, executive chairman of the Western India Automobile Association, said the only solution was to increase the number of courts trying drink driving cases.