Traffic offenders rush to lok adalats, get away with not-so-stiff fines
74% Increase In Turnout Over July As Steep Fines Spook People SAKET COURT
New Delhi: Traffic offenders expecting to be slapped with huge fines under the amended Motor Vehicles Act were glad to be let off with lower ones at lok adalats convened at six district courts here on Saturday. This was the first time the special courts were convened after the new fines were introduced. An amount of Rs 16,96,285 was collected on Saturday.
With the traffic police issuing only court notices even for compoundable offences — like jumping a red light or stopping ahead of a signal — there was a
74% rise in the number of people turning up at these city courts as compared to the ones convened in July this year. The Delhi State Legal Services Authority attributed this rise to
people panicking at the prospect of paying steep penalties and preferring to appear before a magistrate to get a waiver.
The virtual courts set up earlier this year to deal with compoundable challans rely on an automatic system that calculates the number of violations and issues a challan after adding up the fines. Earlier this week, a virtual court at northwest Delhi’s Rohini had fined a truck driver Rs 2.05 lakhs for driving an overloaded vehicle without documents.
During a lok adalat, on the other hand, the magistrate usually let off violators with a lower penalty or a warning in order to quickly clear the backlog. Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) officers say that since special courts got a good response on Saturday, they were planning to go for another round soon. DSLSA special secretary Gautam Manan said there was a huge rush, particularly at the Saket district court. Similar scenes were witnessed at Rohini, Dwarka, Patiala House, Tis Hazari and Karkardooma.
The number of court notices has jumped by nearly 50% since the Delhi goverment is yet to issue a notification allowing the police to collect fines for compoundable offences.
Court officials say that the receipts issued by the lok adalats can be produced before the traffic police as proof of payment for the fines following which they should return the documents that they would have seized while issuing the notice.
On Saturday, a bulk of the cases settled by the courts pertained to permit violations, riding without helmet and jumping the traffic signal. The other cases were of
goods vehicles booked overloading and plying yond permissible hours.
“I have come from Faridabad to pay the fine for jumping the red light near Delhi Gate,” said Rajiv Kumar at Tis Hazari. “I was told that the minimum fine would be around Rs 500 which might go up since I was earlier booked for the same offence in Delhi. However, I had to pay the fine for my immediate offence only.”
There was, however, some confusion among some of the for becourt challans for compounding offences,” he added.
Priyank Ranjan found waiting outside a virtual court was clueless about where to pay his challans. “I bought a second-hand car and discovered that it had been slapped with several challans. I don’t know whether I will have to pay the revised fines or the old ones. I am being sent from one court to another but no one clarify this for me. I have now been asked to return later,” he said.
Court is convened once a month or once in two months to clear piled up violation notices and non-compoundable traffic challans Violators appear before magistrate, who decides the fine amount Amount for challan paid at the court Receipt is shown to cops who release licence or registration documents seized while issuing challans