Fines are meant to deter people from breaking the law. Evidently, they don’t seem to be working, at least in case of a certain Mumbai businessman, who just paid Rs. 1.04 lakhs to the Mumbai police traffic department. Rahil Mehta, a diamond trader who lives in one of Mumbai’s most expensive localities – Malabar Hill – was found speeding 103 times on the Bandra Worli sealink in just 8 months – between January and August 2018. The offences were committed in two cars – a Honda Accord and a BMW 3-Series. 103 e-challans were issued to Mr. Mehta over the past 8 months, which remained unpaid for months.
So, why did he finally end up paying the fine?
Well, Mr. Mehta’s Honda Accord was spotted during a parking violation at Crawford Market on the 23rd of September. Mumbai traffic constable Sunil Patil ran the Honda Accord’s number plates through the police database while issuing the parking fine and found that it had racked up fines of no less than Rs. 85,000. The Honda Accord was promptly seized, and Mr. Mehta was asked to clear the pending fines. The cops also dug deeper and found that Mr. Mehta also owned a BMW 3-Series sedan, for which he owed fines of Rs. 19000 for multiple speeding offences on the Bandra-Worli sealink.
Senior inspector Firoz Bagwan, attached to the Kalbadevi police station said,
The Honda Accord was seen speeding 84 times, while the BMW 19 times. Both on the Sea Link. The accumulated fines for the two cars were Rs 85,000 and Rs 19,000, respectively. Mehta had no idea his vehicles had racked up so many pending e-challans; he said he never received any text message. He offered to visit our HQ in Worli and pay the penalty. On September 25, the photos of speed violations were shown to him and he paid Rs 1.04 lakh. All the e challans in this case were for speeding. There could be more motorists with even higher unpaid fines. We are trying to compile a list of such people and issue notices.
Mr. Rahil Mehta is not the only person to have accummulated a large amount of traffic fines in Mumbai. The police department is staring at Rs. 103 crores of unpaid traffic fines, and many repeat offenders are said to include Bollywood actors, politicians and big businessmen. Notably, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s official Tata Safari SUVs were issued fines of Rs. 13,000 for breaking the speed limit no less than 13 times. Later, Mumbai police officials blamed a clerical error for the fines, saying that the chief minister’s official cars were exempt from speed limits.
Via Mumbai Mirror