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Police chief fined for issuing false traffic challan

A City court,in what is probably the first such case in the city,asked the Delhi Police Commissioner to shell out Rs 1,000 as damages to a man who was sent a challan for a traffic rule violation even as his car was in the custody of the police.

A City court,in what is probably the first such case in the city,asked the Delhi Police Commissioner to shell out Rs 1,000 as damages to a man who was sent a challan for a traffic rule violation even as his car was in the custody of the police.

“No one can deny the harassment or mental agony a person is subjected to when he receives a police notice regarding the use of a vehicle that is already in the custody of the police,” Administrative Civil Judge Anil Kumar said in his recent order.

The petition was filed by G B Singh,who approached the court seeking punitive damages from the Delhi Police Commissioner and the entire department.

Singh’s car was seized by Shakarpur police station officials in December 27,2003,after a case was lodged for rash and negligent driving. The car was subsequently kept in the police malkhana. 

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In March 2004,Singh had his vehicle released with the permission of a magistrate.

A month later,however,he received a challan from the traffic police,stating that his car was being driven on February 4,2004,on Teen Murti Marg — the driver was caught not wearing a seat belt.

Disgruntled,Singh sent a legal notice to the Delhi Police department stating that the vehicle was in the department’s custody the day it was allegedly found flouting traffic norms. He also demanded compensation for the distress and persecution caused.

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While the traffic police withdrew the notice of his challan,no response was given on the question of damages.

Singh then moved the court,pressing for compensation. He further expressed apprehension that someone might have been using his car while it was in police custody. 

The police department countered his petition,contending there was no need for further action when they had already revoked the notice. They also denied that the vehicle had been used unauthorisedly by a police official during the period it was their custody.

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ACJ Kumar,however,was unimpressed with the defence and said: “Withdrawal of notice cannot exclude or exempt the defendants from their liability of compensating the plaintiff for causing harassment.”

The court further noted that the facts of the case clearly reflected that either Singh’s car was being used by someone with the permission of the police official in charge of the vehicle or the traffic police had issued a false challan. “In either of the circumstances,harassment has definitely been caused to plaintiff,” added the judge.

The court made the Delhi Police chief and all other officials concerned jointly and separately liable and directed them to pay a compensation of Rs 1,000 to Singh along with the cost of litigation.

First published on: 07-09-2009 at 04:00:45 am
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