Indian cops are known to make up rules on the fly just to fine motorists. This is exactly what a group of young scientists from the prestigious Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore had to face. Avinash Pratap Singh, a young scientist pursuing post doctoral research at the IISc was fined Rs. 100 for ‘not wearing an uniform’ in a REVV self-drive car. When Mr. Singh refused to pay the fine stating that he was not a taxi driver (who’re required to wear uniforms by law in Karnataka) and that this was a self-drive car that private individuals could hire and drive to any place in India, the cops refused to buy the argument. And what happened next was totally out of order. Watch the video we’ve lined up below.
As the video indicates, the young IISc scientist was roughed up traffic police officials at the Gopalan Mall junction on Bannerghatta road. Mr. Singh, along with two other research students, were on their way to the Bannerghatta National Park last Sunday when this incident happened. Initially unwilling to pay the fine, which the scientist felt was unfair, Mr. Singh even dialed 100 for help.
Even before police officials could arrive at the spot, a girl student traveling in the Revv rental car panicked at the rough behaviour of the traffic police officials, and chose to pay the Rs. 100 fine, for which the cops allegedly issued a receipt (challan) without the actual offence on it. As other police officials arrived at the spot, the challan was allegedly torn up by the cops and a fresh receipt was issued, which had the offence of ‘not wearing a uniform by the taxi driver’ on it.
Even after the scientist had paid the fine, the cops allegedly insisted on an apology letter, threatening the scientist and the other IISc students with dire consequences if they refused to comply. Mr. Singh refused to write an apology letter, and instead chose to write a letter that merely detailed the incident where the cops not only fined him wrongfully but also allegedly threatened and roughed him up for refusing to pay the fine. Later, Mr. Singh filed a police complaint about the whole incident. Thankfully, the self-drive car rental company REVV has promised legal assistance to Mr. Singh, who is now seeking justice for the wrong fine and the alleged assault. REVV has also clarified that Mr. Singh (who was driving the self-drive car) is not required to wear an uniform.
The joint commissioner of police Mr. Ravikanthe Gowda, has noted that he has watched the video, and has taken note of the matter. He has called for cops to be professional when dealing with the public, and has reportedly instructed the deputy commissioner of police in charge of the area where the scientist was stopped to look into the matter.