Chandigarh: Traffic offenders must now appear in person in court to pay fine, get back their vehicles

Jagpreet Singh Sandhu
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The identity card of the person will be attached with the challan slip, which will help in identifying whether the person who has given the ID card is the same person whose has been issued the challan, sources said. (Express file photo)

JUDICIAL OFFICERS at the Chandigarh district court have issued directions for compulsory personal appearances by traffic offenders in court, in light of the scam of forged releasing orders of vehicles.

Sources said that if any individual is issued a traffic violation challan in Chandigarh, he/she will have to appear personally to pay the fine and get the release orders of the vehicle.

Advocates of the Chandigarh Court dealing with the matters of traffic violation challans have been called by the judicial officer of the court, and have also been directed to attach the identity cards of the offender issued the traffic challan, along with the performa while applying for paying fine and getting a release order of the vehicle.

The identity card of the person will be attached with the challan slip, which will help in identifying whether the person who has given the ID card is the same person whose has been issued the challan, sources said.

A clerk of an advocate on condition of anonymity said that earlier, challan copies were taken by court staffers without verifying documents of the offender, which could later make it difficult to identify the actual offender, and the challans used to get released with the orders without any verification.

An official of the local court said that after an alleged forgery came to light, it has become difficult to get the challans released, as the personal appearance of the offender has been made compulsory, and if the offender is not present in court, he/she will not be able to get the document or vehicle released and pay the challan fine.

Meanwhile, during an ongoing inquiry of the alleged forgery of the signatures of judicial officers on release orders of vehicles, a few staffers of the court were summoned by the inquiry officer and asked details concerning the release of traffic challans. Earlier, traffic policemen and court staffers have been called by the inquiry officer to get details in the matter.

A ‘discreet inquiry’ in the matter had been marked by the High Court to the Chandigarh Sessions Judge, which was marked further to the Additional District and Sessions Judge of special CBI Court, Dr Sushil Kumar Garg, for investigation.

Sources said that suspected beneficiaries whose details have been obtained by the inquiring committee have allegedly got their vehicles released by paying lesser than the actual fine, even without having documentation of the vehicles. The release orders of impounded vehicles were issued by forging signatures of six judicial magistrates first class and misusing the court’s stamp and other records.

The matter came to light in 2019, when the CJM’s court had asked for records of 250 vehicles and later, on February 12, 2020, a letter was received from the inquiry officer seeking details of vehicles.