A 75 per cent drop in issuing cash challans since September 1, when the amended Motor Vehicles Act came into force, has prompted the Delhi Traffic Police to send a letter to Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Dev, asking him to help them issue a fresh notification for “compounding” of challans.
According to seniors officials, before sending the letter to the Chief Secretary in November, the Special CP (Traffic), Taj Hassan, had sent four letters to the Delhi Transport Department on the matter. However, as per officials, the matter is under consideration.
The Sunday Express has learnt that in the letter sent by the Special CP to the Chief Secretary, the former stated that before September 1, around 95 per cent of camera-detected violations were paid online or after approaching traffic police personnel. But since the amended MV Act came into force, challans are going to courts.
“The traffic department is now sending notices to violators via post, informing them about the court they have to visit to pay the challan. The burden of work has increased on their department as well the courts,” a senior police officer said.
Hassan in his letter requested the Chief Secretary to issue new notifications in the regard.
“The Special CP wrote that earlier, they were issuing 20,000 challans every day, out of which only 1,500 challans were sent to court. But now, the situation has changed. While traffic challans wherein documents have been seized are being sent to virtual courts, those in which the vehicle is impounded along with documents are forwarded to the courts of metropolitan magistrates,” an officer said.
At a conference on road safety at FICCI recently, Hassan said, “As per the previous Act, we were authorised to compound challans. We would issue around 20,000 challans every day. Out of that, only a few hundred people used to contest. As per the amended MV Act…. we are sending all challans to courts. We don’t have the power of compounding offences… we are sending 5,000 challans to the courts… they may be overloaded. The problem with non-compoundable system is road safety… In the one last year, we have installed red light violation-detecting cameras at 24 junctions. At around 100 places, we have installed speeding and people violation detection cameras. People used to pay on our website and we would send them a photograph of the violation. But now, we don’t have the compounding power.”
Additional PRO (Delhi Police) Anil Mittal said the Traffic Police has also taken up the matter with the Delhi government at various levels.
“The drop in challans is due to cases being sent to court. The compounding power has not been given to police so far, and magistrates are handling the cases,” Mittal had earlier said.
A senior transport department official said there has been no fresh development in this regard. On August 31, hours before implementation of amended MV Act, all traffic police personnel were directed by the DCP (traffic headquarters) not to issue cash challans and issue only court challans till a fresh notification for “compounding” of challans is issued by the Delhi government.