The traffic police department across India has become much stricter than they were a few years ago. That results in a high number of traffic challans. However, there are times when the cops issue the wrong challan and it can happen to anyone. Well, while most of us pay the challan without bothering much, this businessman from Pune fought for a Rs 200 fine that was handed over to him by the cops earlier this year in January.
Binoy Gopalan received a Rs 200 challan from the Pimpri-Chinchwad traffic police in January 2021. The motorist was in the authorised parking zone when the police issued a challan of Rs 200. It was confusion because of a vandalised traffic sign that indicated the parking status of the spot. Gopalan was not the only person to receive the challan on that day. Many others received the fine and paid on the spot.
However, Binoy Gopalan was not going down that route. He visited the traffic police office and met with numerous traffic cops and also submitted numerous applications with the authorities. He filed a case against the traffic police commissioner and after myriad hearings, he compelled the authorities to admit their mistakes and withdraw the online challan that was issued against him.
What happened exactly?
According to Pune Mirror, 45-year old Binoy Gopalan was visiting Bank of Baroda, Pimpri brand on the Kharalwadi road on January 29. Binoy parked his bike at the designated authorised parking spot outside the bank. That is when he suddenly noticed that several traffic police vehicles were picking bikes from the right-hand side of the parking spot and were recovering fines of online challans. Binoy also noticed that the right side arrow of the parking signage was missing and he realised that some miscreant must have removed it.
Binoy tried to make the cops understand that it is not his fault and someone has removed the arrow from the signage. However, the cops did not believe and rubbished his logic. The officers present at the spot said that they are acting based on the things that they get to see.
Binoy Gopalan felt that the cops are conning him and he also felt quite hurtful. He raised the issue to the higher authorities. He also submitted the proof of vandalism by the miscreants. The authorities initially admitted to his argument and asserted that as per their records, the location is actually an authorised parking spot. But, they refused to cancel the challan and said that it is a “tedious task”. The cops asked him to pay Rs 200 instead while admitting that the erased arrow sign had confused them.
Not happy with the response, Binoy then raised the issue with senior authorities and demanded hearings before the traffic police chief. He made several rounds from Chikhali to Pimpri and raised the issue of many innocent motorists who had to pay the fine before he objected.
Binoy told Mirror,
“The authority admitted to the gaffe but remained reluctant to erase it from the online system’s records, claiming this would simply increase their headache. They also suggested that I pay either Rs 200 or keep making rounds of the court and spend lakhs on court fees. I then decided to stick to my point. I spent around Rs 10,000 for two months with several rounds to the headquarters. This casual approach of cops hurt me and I wanted a proper resolution. Finally, on Friday, they agreed to my claim and cancelled the online challan. Now, the sign confusing people has also been removed and the entire stretch has been declared a parking zone.”
ACP Shrikant Disle of Pimpri-Chinchwad traffic police has admitted to the mistake and said that the challan now stands cancelled.