The Delhi High Court has asked the government to come up with a “fair procedure” to suspend the licence of traffic violators. The bench of Justice J R Midha Friday asked the Delhi government to hold a meeting with the traffic police and the transport department, and formulate the procedure within a week.
In March, the bench had asked the government to look into “procedural flaws” in the exercise of suspending licences of those found violating traffic rules, after pleas had been filed against the practice.
The petitions, filed through advocates Satyam Thareja and Puneet Mittal, had alleged that the showcause notice sent by the transport department was “arbitrary and vague”. It also alleged that the government could not have issued a showcause notice for suspension of licences on the basis of a challan as the offence had been “compounded” by paying the challan amount.
The pleas also argued that the notices required them to submit their driving licences to the motor licencing officer of the district, along with their reply. This, they said, violated the principles of natural justice by not allowing them to challenge the notice.
One of the petitions, filed by an advocate practicing in the Delhi High Court and Supreme Court, has alleged that the notice was “issued in a mechanical exercise”, and did not disclose details of the offence allegedly committed by the petitioner.
On Friday, Delhi government’s senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra told the court that the exercise was being carried out on the orders of a Supreme Court-appointed committee to curb the rampant violation of traffic norms in the city.
Mehra also told the court that the transport department had sent a letter to the committee, asking for the due process and norms to balance the punishment and rights of the persons violating the rules. The committee, however, is yet to respond to the letter, said Mehra.
According to reports, the Delhi Police had in December 2015 issued notices to over 39,000 persons, telling them that their licences may be suspended for three months for traffic violations. The transport department, had then sent showcause notices to them.