oppn parties Checking Vehicle Papers: People-Friendly Instructions From WB Government

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  • The government decides to decriminalize more than two-thirds of penal sections in the Companies Act
  • Muslim groups tell the Supreme Court that they want the Babri Masjid to be restored
  • Muslim groups claim that while they were asked questions in court, Hindus were not questioned
  • Postpaid mobile services restored in Jammu & Kashmir from today, but still no internet
  • Abhijit Banerjee, an Indian-American currently a professor at MIT, wins the 2019 Noble prize in economics jointly with two others
  • Industrial output slumps in August as the IIP shrinks by 1.1%
  • Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping watch a cultural show at the Shore Temple in Mamallapuram
  • J&K administration lifts the ban on entry of tourists in the Valley, but it remains doubtful how many will visit without being able to use mobile phones and internet
  • After Sena asks members to support the BJP candidate in Kalyan, 26 party corporators and 300 members resign setting off a crisis
  • The Centre sets up a 12-member committee to suggest systemic changes in the GST structure to improve compliance and collection, prevent misuse and evasion and rationalize rates and slabs
  • In line with the RBI outlook on the Indian economy, rating firm Moody's also downgrades growth forecast from 6.8% to 5.8% this year, saying the economy is experiencing a pronounced slowdown
  • HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh says the financial system in India does not offer foolproof security for misuse of the savings of the common man
  • Shivinder Singh and Malvinder Singh, promoters of Ranbaxy and Fortis, arrested for their role in Religare Finvest scam
  • Supreme Court says marriage can be dissolved if it has broken down irretrievably
  • DA of Central government staff hiked by 5% to 17%
Sourav Ganguly is the new president of BCCI, says conflict of interest is a big concern
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Checking Vehicle Papers: People-Friendly Instructions From WB Government

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

In a move that is going to stop the harassment of vehicle owners and eradicate corruption in the police force, the West Bengal government has issued several instructions to all superintendents and commissioners of police that only a traffic policeman, accompanied by a motor vehicle inspector, will henceforth be empowered to check the papers of any vehicles for violations of traffic rules or in case of any doubt about any traffic or ownership related matter.

The roads in Kolkata and elsewhere in the state are full of home guards and civic volunteers. This class of road watchers (one cannot call them anything else) are there just to guide the traffic and perhaps prevent vehicles from blatantly flouting rules. But they are not empowered to either demand the papers of the vehicles or threaten to fine vehicle owners. They can just either click the vehicle image on their cellphones or note down the vehicle number and report any traffic violation to the relevant traffic guard.

But in order to exhort money from unsuspecting drivers and owners, these home guards and civic volunteers have of late started stopping vehicles and demanding money to "settle" cases of alleged traffic violations. This is completely illegal and the government has taken the present action after innumerable complaints of harassment from vehicle owners and transport unions.

The action came after the chief minister Mamata Banerjee had spoken about traffic police personnel extorting money from vehicle owners in East Midnapore about a month back. She had spoken about the harassment in the presence of DG Virendra and home secretary A Bandopadhyay. That had stirred the administration into reining in the juniors. But obviously that was not enough and hence the government has come out with this people-friendly instruction. This is another instance of the Mamata Banerjee government responding fast to complaints from the people.