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Saturday, Nov 16, 2019

Can’t pay fine on spot in Delhi as new motor vehicle act kicks in today

Starting Sunday, as increased penalties under the amended Motor Vehicles Act kick in, people in Delhi caught in traffic offences will not be able to pay their fines on the spot, but will have to head to a court.

delhi Updated: Sep 01, 2019 08:32 IST
Sweta Goswami
Sweta Goswami
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Image for representation
Image for representation(Burhaan Kinu/Hindustan Times file photo)
         

Starting Sunday, as increased penalties under the amended Motor Vehicles Act kick in, people in Delhi caught in traffic offences will not be able to pay their fines on the spot, but will have to head to a court. This is because the Delhi government is yet to notify the new penalties under a section of the Act pertaining to on-the-spot settlement of traffic offences.

On August 28, the Centre issued a notification saying that 63 clauses, which included one on the imposition of higher penalties for traffic violations, of the amended MV Act will come into effect from September 1. Following this, all state governments were required to issue notifications pertaining to offences that can be settled on-the-spot by paying fines. These offences are also known as “compounding” offences.

Compounding of challans means on-the-spot settlement between the enforcement agencies (traffic and transport officers) and the offender. Compounding is a quick way in which a challan can be settled. The MV Act empowers the state government to notify the compounding rates -- the amount that must be paid on the spot to settle the fine.

But the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi on Saturday said it will not issue the notification on compounding offences until it holds “detailed consultations” with the traffic police and other stakeholders.

Until Saturday, of the 98 offences under the MV Act, only 17 such as drink-driving, permit violation and misbehaviour with traffic personnel could not be settled on the spot and had to be resolved in court. But from Sunday, all offences will need to be resolved in court.

“Only court challans will be issued from Sunday and no spot fines will be taken until the Delhi government notifies the fines under compoundable offences. We wrote to the state transport department on Thursday to expedite the process,” said a senior traffic police officer who did not wish to be named.

On Friday, the transport department wrote to the special commissioner of police (traffic), Taj Hassan, informing him that the proposal for prescribing fresh amount for compounding of traffic offences is “under submission for approval of the competent authority”.

“This is to say that efforts are being made so that the notification of composition of offence is issued before September 1, 2019,” read the letter to the special CP (traffic) by the state transport department on Friday.

Traffic officials also said that settling challans in court for minor offences such as jumping a traffic signal, or not wearing a helmet or seat belt will not only cause inconvenience to the offender, but will also have an impact on traffic enforcement as a section of their staff will have to be present in court.

When asked about the delay, Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot said the matter would be settled in a day or two. “Since heavy penalties have been prescribed under the Act after a gap of many years, the compounding notification will be issued with serious consultation with traffic police and other stakeholders,” he said.

The minister further said that the compounding rates should not negate the effect of changes. “It should facilitate the enforcement agencies, otherwise their officers will remain busy in court cases in case the offenders disagree with the compounding amount,” he said.

Under the amended MV Act, violators have to pay Rs 1,000 for offences such as jumping red lights, speeding and riding without helmets. Earlier, the compoundable fines for signal jumping and riding without helmets were as low as Rs 100, and for speeding, the fine was Rs 400 for the first offence.