Ever since the amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act have been implemented, cases of extravagant fines imposed by authorities have started surfacing from across India. Fines amounting for as much as Rs 1.16 lakh have been issued. In another recent instance, a truck driver was issued a challan for Rs 86,500 in the state of Odisha. Truck driver Ashok Jadav was issued the challan on September 3, but the incident came to light a little later when the mater was circulated widely across social media platforms. It is learnt that Jadav managed to bring the amount of the challan down to Rs 70,000 after negotiating with the officers for about 5 hours.
Jadav’s challan of Rs 86,500 included Rs 56,000 for overloading with an access weight of 18 tons. In addition to this, Rs 5,000 was for un-authorised driving, Rs 5,000 for driving without a licence and a further Rs 20,000 for carrying an over-dimensional projection load.
The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari recently said that such hefty fines are being imposed so that people start obeying traffic rules. According to recent statistics, in India, 5 lakh road accidents annually which is amongst one of the highest globally. amid rising concern among citizens about the hefty fines, Gadkari recently stated that even he had paid fines for speeding on the Bandra-Worli sealink. In these, close to 1.5 lakh people lose their lives whereas 2 lakh are crippled. Under the amendments, if an officer who is responsible for implementing the said regulations is found disobeying the rules, he or she shall be liable for 200 per cent of the fine stipulated for that particular offence.
As most of the fines issued under the new regulations have been for missing documents, the ministry has clarified that carrying a digital copy of the same, in respective Digilocker or mParivan app is also valid and will be treated equivalent to original documents.
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