Strip Traffic Police of power of fining citizens
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We all have seen one person standing in the middle of road controlling the traffic whether it is a hot sunny day or a heavy rain is pouring down on him, he has to be there for the safety of others. He has the power to direct the traffic as it seems right to him and power to fine anybody not obeying his signals or traffic rules. Here's where it all goes wrong.
Last week I was in Jaipur and at first was very glad to see the ample presence of traffic policemen at almost every junction. But that satisfaction of feeling secure didn't last long as I saw gross abuse of power by these traffic policemen. I observed that they stopped my car twice just because it was registered in other state. They fined me first time telling me that U-turn was not allowed on that particular road (I had taken a u turn on an empty road) but there was no such sign saying the same. He told me that the sign was further down the road. I paid my fine and asked my partner to record the whole drive on that road. There was no such sign on that road. The traffic policemen fined me nevertheless.
I don't want to explain another scenario in which also I felt helpless. There are no corrective measures provided by state governments in such cases such as filing a complaint against such traffic policemen, compensation to citizens for the harassment and mental trauma they have to go through in the middle of the road because of such policemen. Instead such policemen are rude and either take pride in misuse of their power or look for bribes.
In Keshavananda Bharti vs State of Kerala, 1973, Supreme Court said that Separation of Power is part of basic structure of our Constitution according to which executive can not interfere in the work of judiciary. But in the case of traffic rules, traffic policemen act both as executive as well as judiciary. They tell us which traffic rule we have violated even when we might not have. We can not even justify ourselves. They are right and we are wrong, always. They can fine us according to their will and mood. If you argue with them, your fine may increase. This is gross misuse of power and denial of justice and undermine the very "We, the people.."
Friends, let's ask Chief Justice of India to take this case suo motu and strip traffic policemen of such powers and every fine should be paid through an online system put forward by state with effective grievance redressal. Ask every state to install cameras on every junction so that every movement on the road is recorded. If the citizen is guilty and accepts the charges then he/she shall pay the fine within one month of date of crime. And if the citizen disagrees then the case shall be forwarded to a special group comprising of member of judiciary, executive and civil society organisations which shall go over the facts of the case and the judicial member(s) shall come to a conclusion within one month. It shall decide whether the citizen should pay fine or the state should compensate the citizen for the false charges and mental harassment of citizen. The compensation shall not be paid by the state exchequer but by the very traffic policemen who misused the power and charged the citizen falsely.
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