Skoda Fabia Hatchback Illegally Towed With Elderly Men Seated Inside [Video]

skoda fabia with people inside illegally towed noida

Parking at no-parking zones is not a good thing. However, this does not mean that the authorities responsible for checking parking can harass offenders. Recently, in a rather shocking incident in Noida’s Sector 50, a Skoda Fabia was illegally towed. The worst part about this was that there were two elderly men still inside the car while it was being towed. The video of this incident has gone viral on the internet.

The video showing the elderly men still inside the car while it was being towed has been shared on X by Noida Authority on their page. In this short clip, a red-colored Skoda Fabia hatchback can be seen being towed. Inside the car, we can see two people sitting on the left side front and rear passenger seats. This video has been recorded by a person who was riding alongside this tow truck and car.

What happened?

It has been reported that the owner of the car, Vishwajit Mazumder, parked his Fabia in Sector 50 to visit a hospital. He stated that he was unaware of the no-parking sign. Afterward, he mentioned that they quickly returned within five minutes. However, the towing company attendants responsible did not listen to anything he had to say.

Skoda Fabia Hatchback Illegally Towed With Elderly Men Seated Inside [Video]

Mazumdar elaborated that despite their desperate pleas and onlookers, the parking attendants still towed their vehicle. As per the owner, they insisted that the car could only be retrieved from the police station.

Clarification from Noida Authority

To provide clarity on the situation, the Noida Authority stated that this was done by a private agency. They stated that private agencies are tasked with managing surface parking in various sectors to facilitate smooth traffic flow.

Skoda Fabia Hatchback Illegally Towed With Elderly Men Seated Inside [Video]

The Noida Authority added that MG Infra Solution is the agency responsible for parking management in Sector 50. It has also been reported that they acted unlawfully by towing the car to the parking lot of Logix Mall in Sector 32.

Official statement

Noida Authority, in its official statement, stated, “This company has been warned in the past also about violating the conditions of the contract by misbehaving with citizens and extorting money from them.”

It added, “For the incident on March 20, an FIR has been lodged at Sector 49 police station against the crane operator and his assistant while a penalty of Rs 50,000 slapped on MG Infra Solution.”

Legal Action taken

Skoda Fabia Hatchback Illegally Towed With Elderly Men Seated Inside [Video]

In response to this incident, an FIR has been lodged against the private parking agency responsible for the incident. The authorities have imposed a hefty penalty of Rs 50,000 on the agency. It has also issued a show-cause notice demanding an explanation for their actions.

Netizens’ reaction

A number of netizens shared their reactions on this post. One of the commenters said, “This MG Infra Solutions is a goonda parking contractor of Noida authority. They just came, put a lock on my car while the engine was on and I was sitting and extorted 1,000 from me. How come a private contractor is given so much power in Noida? How much kickbacks officials are getting?”

Towing laws in India: What is allowed, and how to do it right

Here is a bulleted summary of the key points on the standard operating procedure for towing vehicles parked in non-parking zones:

  • Traffic police must capture an image of the illegally parked vehicle
  • Announce the vehicle registration number via loudspeaker
  • Allow a stipulated waiting period for the owner to respond
  • If owner doesn’t show up, only then can the vehicle be towed away
  • When towing, details on vehicle location and impound lot must be recorded
  • If owner returns during towing, they should call police helpline or visit nearest station
  • Owner must pay mandated penalty, which varies based on vehicle weight/type and towing duration
  • In some cities like Mumbai, loudspeaker announcements are mandatory before towing
  • If owner returns during towing in Mumbai, only parking violation penalty applies, not full towing fees
  • In Delhi, towed vehicles must be taken to an impound lot within 10 miles of the tow location

In India, in most states and cities, the laws do not specifically ban towing a car with people inside it. But it is generally understood that this is not legal or safe, and authorities have usually responded with quick action when such incidents are reported. In 2021, we reported an instance where Pune Police towed a biked with the owner still sitting on it. In this instance, we do not know what transpired after the news went viral. In 2022 in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, a Hyundai Santro with passengers inside was towed away. In the aftermath, Lucknow authorities banned all towing cranes for a while and said that it was illegal to tow a vehicle with people inside.

Sometimes, passengers deliberately do not get out of their vehicles. Sometimes it is to force the towing company employees to let them go. And in some other cases, its a political protest. In November 2022, Hyderabad Police towed the Toyota Fortuner of the Andhra Chief Minister’s sister with her still sitting inside it, as part of a protest against the Telengana CM.

You can find a discussion on towing guidelines in India on Team BHP.

Safety Guidelines

Towing a vehicle with people inside is not just risky but also not legal and victims can always approach higher authorities or courts and demand compensation. Such actions put the individuals in the vehicle in danger, as they could be harmed without any control over the situation. The rule of thumb is that vehicles should only be towed when they’re empty to ensure everyone’s safety. Go here to read about the Standard Operating Procedure for towing vehicles.

Steps to Take if Illegally Towed

If you find yourself in a pickle like the one in Noida’s Sector 50, where a car was towed with two elderly men inside, you need to act wisely. First off, collect as much evidence as you can, like photos or videos of the parking area, the vehicle being towed, the people inside the car and so on. If there’s a misunderstanding or you’re sure you weren’t wrong, lodge a complaint with the local police. Sometimes, to get your vehicle back, you might have to pay upfront, but keep all the bills for later to claim your rights. The videos will come in handy if you want to sue the authorities or the towing company.

Preventive Measures

To avoid such towing hassles, always park your vehicle in designated spots. Look out for no-parking signs carefully, which may be hidden behind leaves of trees, or because someone pasted posters or notices on top of them. Nowadays, many parking apps can guide you to the nearest legal parking spot. Mistakes happen, but if you accidentally park in a no-parking zone, it’s better to move your vehicle asap.

Legal Recourse

In the Noida incident, legal action was taken against the parking agency by lodging an FIR, and a hefty fine was imposed on them. If you’re ever caught in a similar situation, know that you have legal options. You can challenge the tow by filing a complaint. Having evidence and maybe legal advice can strengthen your case.

Impact On Public-Police trust

Wrongful towing incidents can cause a lot of stress and anger amongst the community. It’s crucial for parking management companies and local authorities to maintain a transparent and fair approach to avoid losing the public’s trust. Proper signage and a clear understanding of the rules can help prevent misunderstandings. A few such viral incidents, and we would not be surprised if the public rebel and refuse to allow vehicles to be towed, leading to bigger issues.

Be careful where you park, remove the vehicles quickly when possible, and in case of outright illegality and dangerous activity such as towing vehicles with people inside, meet a lawyer and with enough evidence and some luck, you will be able to teach the law-breakers a lesson.