Cops can seize vehicles sans permit

Published on Jan 29, 2006 12:36 AM IST

VEHICLES PLYING without correct permits beware! It is not only the RTO official but now even the police who have been given powers to seize such vehicles.

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None | By, Indore

VEHICLES PLYING without correct permits beware! It is not only the RTO official but now even the police who have been given powers to seize such vehicles.

Earlier, the police had powers to seize vehicles only if they did not have proper registration and licences (under Motor Vehicle Act), and if during checking, the police found that the vehicle did not have proper permit, there was nothing they could do since the power to check permits, which comes under the Taxation Act, was solely the purview of the Transport Office.

But, a recent amendment to Section 16 (3) Taxation Act has given additional powers to the police wherein police officers of the rank of sub-inspectors and above can now seize vehicles running without permits. The police can now seize vehicles running without permits and hand it over to the RTO for imposition of fines.

The order was passed by the State Government on December 1, 2005, and the letter authorizing the same was received by the police here on December 23, 2005.

The demand that this power to check permits be given had been a long pending one from the police since they faced practical difficulties on ground.

A traffic inspector said it was not always possible for the police and Transport Department officials to launch joint operations every time (the Transport Department is heavily understaffed), and it often happened in the past that policemen were hauled before the courts for seizing vehicles running without permits, and thus, even though the owners of the vehicles were at fault, they got away scot-free on a technicality.
 
In real terms it meant that if a vehicle did not have proper registration and licence and permit, the police could book the owner for only two counts – for not having licence and not having registration.

These two facets (registration, licence) fall under the Motor Vehicles Act and went directly to court, from where the owners took back possession ‘supurdinama’ of the vehicle and started plying the vehicles even as the cases went on. Vehicles seized under Taxation Act go to the RTO and they are not released till the fines are paid.

For example, right after the new powers were given to police, the traffic police seized 10 tempos that were plying without permits. The RTO has slapped fines of Rs 19,000 on each of the tempos and they are still standing at the Traffic Police office even after one month!

SP Adarsh Katiyar said that the new powers would have a direct bearing on the amount of revenue (through fines) collected. Earlier, there were only four RTIs checking permits throughout the district, but now with the support of around 150 TIs and SIs vested with the same powers, the number of erring vehicle owners is bound to increase.

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