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Delhi HC: Motorists who violate norms will lose licence but temporarily retain right to drive

Following orders from the Supreme Court, the Delhi traffic police and transport department had started seizing licences of drivers found breaking traffic rules.

Written by Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi | Published: May 13, 2016 4:30 am

Motorists who are found overspeeding or driving drunk in the capital will no longer lose their driving privileges immediately, with the Delhi High Court Thursday issuing directions to create a “proper procedure” for suspension of licences.

While acknowledging the need to prosecute traffic violators, the bench of Justice J R Midha has directed that a notice must be issued to the traffic violator when the licence is seized, which would allow the motorist to continue to drive for upto 90 days, till the time the transport department completed the procedure to suspend the licence.

Following orders from the Supreme Court, the Delhi traffic police and transport department had started seizing licences of drivers found breaking traffic rules. The transport department would then initiate the procedure to suspend the licence of the violator for three months, as directed by the Supreme court. However, the high court found that on-the-spot seizure of licences, without giving notice or allowing motorists to present their case, violated principles of natural justice as the violator ended up without a licence for much longer than three months, and was not given adequate notice of the process.

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The court was responding to a set of pleas filed by advocates Abhijat and Satyam Thareja on behalf of four motorists whose licences had been seized. The petitioners had said they were issued notices after their licences had already been impounded, as a “post facto exercise”.

The court had earlier directed Delhi government’s standing counsel Rahul Mehra and the petitioners’ lawyers for suggestions. It had also formulated the acknowledgment forms and notices that will now be issued by traffic police and transport department.

According to the court’s directions, if a person is now found jumping a red light, overspeeding, drunk driving or overloading a commercial goods vehicle, police will seize the licence but issue an “acknowledgment slip”, giving details of the violation and the transport authority concerned.

The slip will allow the traffic violator to continue to drive for upto 90 days.


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  1. V
    Vinod kumar
    Aug 28, 2017 at 8:18 pm
    No SoP formulated yet.My DL was seized at Murthal (NH-1. ) On 9/5/17.3 months over yet to receive DL or notice.Ack given by TPS Murthalwas shown at MLO Vasant vihar ( DL issuing authority) but all in vein. No one is in position to tell about this. Court must also enforce operating procedure for return of seized DL.
    1. S
      sarvesh srivastava
      Aug 21, 2017 at 11:51 am
      The transport department is however acting in utter defiance of the law as laid by the Hon Supreme Court. The suspension of licence for three months is mandatory regardless of the offence. They are directing the persons whose licence has been seized to come to the transport office after six months .. Ie. three months drive with the impounding confirmation letter and three months cannot drive the vehicle. This is so harsh and plainly harassment of drivers for minor offences...
      1. V
        vikas sharma
        Jan 19, 2017 at 6:01 am
        my license was seized under motibagh flyover on 14/10/16. A few days later I went to speak to the dcp traffic at ITO headquarters as my father had surgeries at aiims and I had to drive him there. He told us that the acknowledgement slip authorized me to drive for 90 days after the challan and my suspension was also for three months. 2 days before the three months got over I recieved a letter in the mail saying that my license is suspended, signed by the mlo of the rto of my area. This is gross mismanagement, of the system where it takes three months for the license to be "PROCESSED" and then the suspension starts, therefore my suspension has gone from 3 months to over 6 months. I believe everyone who have suffered because of this incompetence of the system and people working in that system should get together and sue the delhi police department. Nowhere in the world have I heard of a more stupid system of suspending license after 1 violation. People should stand up against such rulings that should be legally wrong as they already are morally wrong.
        1. J
          May 20, 2016 at 5:52 pm
          Hi,lt;br/gt;I have my license seized on 4th May and I even got the Acknowledgement slip. The bottom of the acknowledgement slip issued by traffic police is clearly stating that I am not authorized to drive. "Note: This Acknowledgement slip will not enle the licence holder to drive a vehicle." Kindly help me to understand the right process.
          1. V
            Sep 22, 2016 at 1:15 pm
            My license got seized on 22nd september 2016. I did got a acknowledgement slip, but i wanted to confirm that till when i can get back my licence as I have a exam in February where my identification ID is my DL.
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