The Mumbai police are staring at Rs. 80 crore worth of unpaid traffic fines sent through the e-Challan system, and they’re clearly unhappy about it. The Mumbai police department has decided to request courts to issue arrest warrants against those who do not pay traffic fines. This drive is likely to commence from the 1st of December, 2019, reports MumbaiMirror. So, if you do have unpaid traffic fines sent to you through the e-Challan system, do pay up quickly to avoid a potential arrest.
But why are the cops thinking up such extreme measures for traffic fines?
- There are 27 lakh unpaid e-challans with the traffic police department of Mumbai ever since this system was introduced in 2016.
- Over 9,000 of these e-challans are for amounts over Rs. 5,000.
- A total of Rs. 80 crore worth unpaid fines have accumulated in the past 3 years.
- There has been very little response to the SMSes and letters that traffic police officials claim to have sent people having unpaid fines.
- The fine collection this year at Rs. 100 crore is much lower than last year’s collection of Rs. 139 crores.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Mumbai Traffic Department) Madhukar Pandey confirmed this development. A senior Mumbai police official added,
It is necessary to make the offenders fear the law. Earlier the police seized offenders’ licence and vehicle papers and retained these until the penalty was paid. Now with e-challans in place, a photo of the violator’s vehicle is clicked, and an SMS is sent. Many a time, the number is not registered with the RTO and even the address mentioned is incorrect. We need a system where people realise they can be sent to jail for not paying up.
In the past, there have been multiple instances of politicians and others in Mumbai not paying traffic fines issues through the e-Challan system. In fact, many months ago the Mumbai police seized a Honda Accord luxury sedan of a businessman for unpaid fines of Rs. 1.04 lakhs. The businessman was caught speeding on the Bandra-Worli sea-link multiple times in his BMW 3-Series and Honda Accord cars but hadn’t paid traffic fines for 103 speeding offences. He was busted after being pulled up for a parking violation in his Honda Accord. Similarly, former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ official Tata Safari was found speeding multiple times, and the accumulated fines were later exempted by the traffic police as many state functionaries are exempt. You can read that story here.