Why no officers notified for compounding challans, asks HC

Delhi High Court

New Delhi, March 5 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Thursday questioned authorities for not notifying the officers authorised to compound challans issued under the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA).

“Why don’t you notify officers to compound offences under the MVA; it’s beneficial to all of us,” said a division bench comprising Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Harishankar.

The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) about problems faced by the public in seeking compounding of challans issued under the MVA, 1988, particularly after the amendment on September 1 2019, whereby the penalties for traffic rules’ violation have been raised manifold.

The Bench issued notices to the Centre, Delhi government and Delhi Police and asked them to file responses to the plea filed by social activist and lawyer Amit Sahni. The matter was posted for hearing on April 17.

Sahni has pleaded for court’s direction to the Delhi government to notify the officers and compounding fee for compounding the offences under the Act.

“The Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act, 2019 has come into force w.e.f. September 1, 2019, vide which the penalties for traffic rules’ violations have been raised manifold… Respondent No. 1 has not notified the authorised officers and the compounding fee under Section 200 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 after the amendment.

“Resultantly, the Delhi Traffic Police or officers of the State Transport Authority are not able to compound any offence on the spot and are constrained to forward all traffic challans to the court. This has not only overburdened the court but also the public at large since they are not able to get petty violations compounded on the spot. The public has to visit offices concerned to collect impounded documents even after paying up challans,” the plea said.

“The virtual court (Traffic) portal is not accepting payments against traffic challans above Rs 2,000 through debit cards. However, the said payment can be made through credit cards or other means, viz online banking etc. The auto drivers or those from other poor strata, who do not have credit cards or online banking accounts, are not able to make payments of challans on virtual court,” it further read.

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