Under Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, fines have been increased by a huge margin for every vehicle related offence, causing confusion and inconvenience to the public. Amidst the chaos, some govt. officials are taking advantage of the situation and engaging in corruption.
The new fines under the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act came into effect on September 1st, 2019. In less than a month, it has caused numerous controversies, inconvenienced the taxpayers, sparked several debates, and even prompted some state governments to take a step back and ease the penalties under the act. Now, however, there has been a new report, one which is of a shameful nature.
In a recent sting operation, CNN-News18 reporter Saahil Menghani took a challan worth ₹15,000 to Ghaziabad police station. There, the undercover reporter asks the police officials present if the fine can be “reduced”, to which they promptly replied that it could. From there, the police pointed him towards a middleman, who further pointed him towards the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Office in Ghaziabad. The middleman also instructs them on where and how to find the “help”.
As per instructions, the undercover reporter goes to the Magistrate’s Office and find the court staffer responsible for the ordeal. Talks ensue under the guise of negotiations, and the staffer even gets angry when the reporter requests for the bribe amount (₹5,000) to be lowered. Meanwhile, multiple deals of a similar nature were taking place in the background.
Digging deeper into the matter, the reporter comes across a senior advocate, who repeats the same words: Pay ₹5,000 and don’t worry about the challan. He explains the procedure too. Firstly, the advocate tells him to not pay the fine and ignore it. The police will send him a notice of the pending challan which, again, should be ignored. After that, the challan and any confiscated document will be sent to the court, where the “help” will delete the offence from the records and return the documents back.
With the brutal efficiency by which the events transpire, one can tell that this has been going on for quite a while. This entire ordeal reminds us that a law is only as good as its implementation. It is the responsibility of the judicial system to protect the law, yet here we see the system acting corrupt. Many state governments and authorities had previously expressed concern over the negative impact of the increased fines. Although this video does prove the concerns to be just, it doesn’t mean that corruption wasn’t a pre-existing evil. Such malpractices have plagued the society for decades now. The only difference now is the increased rates of bribe corresponding to the fines.
What is your opinion on this? Will the increased rates of fines help increase carefulness on roads, or will it force people to flock more towards illicit means to get the charges dropped? Please comment your thoughts on the matter below.
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