Delhi Government Empowers On-the-Spot Traffic Violation Fines: High Court Update

On August 28, a report from New Delhi, Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) states that the Delhi government has updated the Delhi High Court about a recent notification enabling immediate compounding of traffic violations by authorized officers. This step comes in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Amit Sahni, addressing the difficulties faced by individuals in processing fines for traffic offenses under the amended Motor Vehicle Act of September 2019. 

The amendment had resulted in challenges related to prompt fine payment, leading to increased court burdens and online payments. The government's response revealed the issuance of a notification granting designated officials the power to collect fines on the spot for specific offenses. 

This approach streamlines the process, eliminating the need for court visits. Furthermore, the government assured that enforcement authorities recognize documents available on the DigiLocker application provided by the Centre. The PIL concluded with a division bench, consisting of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula, deeming the government's actions sufficient, leading to the disposal of the petition. The government also emphasized the validity of documents accessible through platforms like DigiLocker and m-Parivahan for the transport department's enforcement branch. 

The PIL had also highlighted the absence of authorized officers and established compounding fees despite the amendments brought by the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act, 2019. The Virtual Court (Traffic) portal, had been criticized for only accepting payments above Rs 2,000 via credit cards or online banking, which posed a challenge for individuals lacking these payment methods. 

The 2019 amendments brought significant penalties for various offenses, including overspeeding, driving under the influence, and lacking valid documentation such as insurance or pollution under control (PUC) certificates. The penalties range from Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000 based on the nature of the violation.

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