Mumbai Police is known for their video surveillance and issuing online fines to the people. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis uses two official vehicles and both of them have been fined together around 13 times this year for overspeeding. The vehicles flouted the speed limits on Bandra Worli Sea Link and the cops issued a fine of Rs. 13,000. The overspeeding was caught in the cameras installed on the road and happened between January 12, 2018, and August 12, 2018.
Each speeding fine is for Rs. 1,000 and 13 consecutive fines add up to Rs. 13,000. Did the Maharashtra CM pay the fine like all other commoners? Well, according to India Today, the Mumbai Police has cancelled all the e-challans issued to the Maharashtra CM’s cars. This came out in the open when a person filed an RTI application on the matter. Shakeel Ahmed, who is a right-to-information activist said,
“I had sought an information from the traffic department as to what happened to the e-challans that were issued to chief minister’s vehicles or if there is any GR [government rule] which exempts CM and ministers’ convoys as far the traffic rules are concerned. The traffic department said that all the 13 e-challans have been cancelled,”
As per Mumbai Traffic Police, the Chief Minister’s vehicles are exempted from the speed limit rules due to the safety reasons. However, Shakeel Ahmed said that only fire engines, ambulances and police vehicles are exempted during emergency situations. The government vehicles fall under the same MV Act and can be fined as per the rules of the government.
Nationalist Congress Party spokesperson, Nawab Malik said,
“If there is a law it has to be equal. The CM cannot be treated separately for over speeding. On the one hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says that he wants to end VVIP culture, but his own party leaders do not seem to be following what the PM preaches,”
Mumbai Police operates one of the most active Twitter accounts of the cops in India. Every now and then, the Mumbai Police handle on Twitter updates on the safety. In the past, Mumbai police have issued e-challans to the well-established actors like Kunal Kemmu for not following the rules on the roads. Speed limits are set after doing a proper study of the roads and area. Exceeding the speed limit can cause the vehicles to lose control and get involved in massive accidents.
It is not known if the Chief Minister’s vehicles are exempted from overspeeding on the roads but most of the times such VIPs travel with a convoy of vehicles that ensure that the route is cleared well ahead of the time. The article in India today does not mention if the vehicles were used for personal work or official work. It also fails to mention if CM’s official vehicles were accompanied by security vehicles.