Hike in fines for traffic violations challenged


New Delhi : The Supreme Court Thursday issued notices on a petition that challenged the Delhi High Court’s ruling imposing an additional penalty of Rs.500 on all traffic violators in Delhi.

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A three-member bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice R.V Raveendran and Justice J.M. Panchal issued notices to the central and the Delhi governments, besides the city police chief on a petition by the All India Goods Transport Association.

The petitioner has challenged the Delhi High court’s March 2007 ruling on the grounds that it encroached upon the domains of the legislature and the executive.

In one of its rulings on a public interest lawsuit March 28, 2007, the high court asked the Delhi police to impose an additional penalty of Rs.500 on all traffic violators, besides the regular penalty prescribed under the Motor Vehicles Act.

The ruling has resulted in the traffic police imposing a fine of Rs.600 for, say, jumping red light for which the Motor Vehicle Act prescribes a penalty of Rs.100 only.

The court order for the heavy penalty was to infuse a better road sense and greater discipline among motorists.

Counsel D.K. Sharma for the petitioner association, challenging the order, contended that the high court had exceeded its jurisdiction in enhancing the fine, as the measure should have been taken either by the legislature or the executive.

Sharma sought the apex court direction to annul the high court ruling, saying no additional amount can be charged from the violators beyond what is prescribed under the Motor Vehicles Act.