Politician fakes Mercedes Benz number plate to escape 22 lakh road tax: E-Class luxury sedan SEIZED!

A small time politician and the owner of a Mercedes Benz E-Class luxury sedan has gotten into big trouble. Raju K Gowda, a resident of Keragodu, Mandya, and who also owns a quarry, allegedly faked the number plate of his Mercedes Benz E-Class in order to avoid paying road tax. He was found to be running a fake number plate on his 2013 Mercedes Benz E-Class, which RTO officials have seized, along with another E-Class (running a genuine number plate). RTO officials in Bangalore, along with the help of traffic police, managed to locate Mr. Gowda and seize the car. However, Mr. Gowda escaped from the Yashwantpur RTO, where he was taken for questioning by officials, by scaling the wall of the RTO. Bangalore police has launched a manhunt to track him down and take him into custody.

Politician fakes Mercedes Benz number plate to escape 22 lakh road tax: E-Class luxury sedan SEIZED!

How did it all happen?

Gnanendra Kumar, additional commissioner of Bengaluru RTO had this to say when interviewed by BangaloreMirror.

We had some information with us, which we used to find them. One day a car had come to Yeshwanthpur RTO and the inspector noticed the car and the number plate. A few days later, the same inspector saw another car with the same number plate while on duty in Yeshwanthpur limits. This made the inspector a little curious. He wasn’t sure about the car he had seen parked on Tumkur Road, and so he sent the picture of the car to the person, who had come to the RTO. The man responded saying this was not his car and so we confirmed that something was wrong. With the help of traffic police and CCTV footage, we managed to track the car down in Mylasandra, Kengeri. At a petrol bunk, Gowda swiped his credit card to pay the fuel bill. That’s where we got his address and contact details. Before this, we had identified the car when it passed the toll gate near Bellur Cross on Mangaluru highway. 

The RTO officials sought the help of traffic police officials, and proceeded to Mr. Gowda’s house in Kengeri, in the wee hours of the morning, at about 5 AM. They saw the car parked at the house, and managed to nab the accused, who instantly accepted that the Mercedes E-Class was running a fake number plate. The accused, Mr Gowda, had a temporary number plate, and hadn’t registered the car for more than 3 years in order to avoid road tax. The RTO officials brought Mr. Gowda to the Yeshwantpur RTO at about 6:30 AM, from where he allegedly escaped by scaling a wall. The RTO officials have calculated the total tax dues on this Mercedes to be about Rs. 22 lakhs. This includes the various penalties imposed on the owner for plying the car without registering it for many years.

Faking a number plate of a vehicle is a serious offence, and the offender can be tried under the criminal penal code (CrPC). If found guilty, the offender can also be jailed. Of course, the vehicle will be seized until the case is closed in the court of law, and a hefty penalty will be imposed for not just faking the number plate but also for evading road tax. In recent times, there have been a spate of vehicles running on fake number plates. Vehicles running with fake number plates not only evade road tax in many cases but are also used to commit crimes.