Lack of papers led to luxury cars’ seizure

Updated on Aug 24, 2021 12:23 AM IST

The transport department conducted a special drive near UB city mall, a popular shopping destination in the city, to seize the high-end vehicles, which are now parked at the Road Transport Office in Nelamangala on the outskirts of the city.

During the raid, cars manufactured by Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Audi, Range Rover, Porsche, Mercedes Benz, and Jaguar were seized. (HT Photo)
During the raid, cars manufactured by Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Audi, Range Rover, Porsche, Mercedes Benz, and Jaguar were seized. (HT Photo)
By, Bengaluru

Karnataka transport department on Sunday seized seven luxury vehicles, including a Rolls Royce car alleged to have been formerly owned by Amitabh Bachchan, for failing to provide valid transfer documents, a senior official said.

The transport department conducted a special drive near UB city mall, a popular shopping destination in the city, to seize the high-end vehicles, which are now parked at the Road Transport Office in Nelamangala on the outskirts of the city.

Transport Commissioner N Shiva Kumar said the vehicles were seized because there were no documents available. “We don’t know who it belongs to. There are no documents available with them (drivers). That’s why the vehicles were seized,”

“Some of these cars bore registration numbers belonging to Maharashtra or Pondicherry. These cars have not paid road tax in Karnataka and amount to a big loss to the state exchequer,” he added.

Among these seized cars, one Rolls Royce stood out since it was allegedly registered in the name of Bachchan in 2019. Additional transport commissioner (enforcement) Narendra Holkar said that when the car was seized, the driver didn’t have the relevant document, but a letter signed by Bachchan stating that the vehicle was sold to the former.

“Vahan (the government of India database) is not reflecting any details about the vehicle. So, we have seized the vehicle to examine the claims made by the driver,” said Holkar.

On Monday, talking to the media, a person identified as Babu said that he had purchased the car from the actor in 2019 for 6 crores. “The family uses the car on Sundays, and when they came out, the department seized the vehicle. The driver couldn’t produce the original documents. The documents are at home, and I have told them that I will bring them to the RTO,” said Babu.

A Bengaluru-based builder, Babu said that even though the car was purchased from the actor, the documents were not transferred to his name.

In case the so-called owners are unable to prove their ownership with necessary documents, the transport department can auction the vehicles after seeking necessary approvals from the court. “The due process will be followed. In case anyone is found violating rules, fines will be imposed, and if they can’t produce any documents, there is an option of auctioning these vehicles. We have done such auctions in the past,” said a senior department official

In March, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Mangaluru was probing a case of alleged middlemen selling luxury cars in violation of legal processes. At that time, it was said a Jaguar was bought by a Bengaluru-based private company worker from a middleman for 14.5 lakh. The original owner of the car could not be traced.

The official on Sunday said that only one car owner has come forward with the documents so far, and the documents presented were being verified. During the raid, cars manufactured by Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Audi, Range Rover, Porsche, Mercedes Benz, and Jaguar were seized.

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