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Old 29th April 2012, 13:33   #1
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Default Extorted by Chennai cops for no fault of mine!

Gurus, please pardon me for saying this. From my personal experience I have felt very bad for the absence of laws in India.
I stay in Chennai and was returning late from my friends house at around 2:30 am.( No partying, I was playing Smack down on PS2) I was not under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicant.
One bunch of cops caught me at nearly 3 km from my house. I showed him all the papers, everything valid. He told me to blow on his face to check if i am intoxicated. I blew on his face and he confirmed that i was not intoxicated.

He checked the headlights, number plates, and everything was fine. Finally he could not find any fault in me. He showed me an orange packet and told me that there are drugs in this packet. Also mentioned that the drugs were caught from guys near LOYOLA COLLEGE ( Chennaites would be knowing well ). He threatened me saying that I will report in the police station that I got the drugs from your car. I was Shocked. My friend was with me and he freaked out. The constable along with the Inspector said " they are IT guys, have a lot of money, this is no big case for them ".

Finally I had to pay him 500 rupees for no fault of mine. This is the way how cops can get cash from innocent people like us. I whole agree that this was an incident where i should have not paid a single penny, but I was helpless. Have faced bad times with them and I feel they are a nuisance to good society than being of some help.

On the other hand I have seen good cops do their duty. But some cops are like the cop in Wanted movie ( Tamil pokiri movie ).
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Old 29th April 2012, 14:08   #2
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Default Re: Are headlights that emit white light illegal?

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Originally Posted by rajanprash View Post
Gurus, please pardon me for saying this. From my personal experience I have felt very bad for the absence of laws in India.
I stay in Chennai and was returning late from my friends house at around 2:30 am.( No partying, I was playing Smack down on PS2) I was not under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicant.
One bunch of cops caught me at nearly 3 km from my house. I showed him all the papers, everything valid. He told me to blow on his face to check if i am intoxicated. I blew on his face and he confirmed that i was not intoxicated.

He checked the headlights, number plates, and everything was fine. Finally he could not find any fault in me. He showed me an orange packet and told me that there are drugs in this packet. Also mentioned that the drugs were caught from guys near LOYOLA COLLEGE ( Chennaites would be knowing well ). He threatened me saying that I will report in the police station that I got the drugs from your car. I was Shocked. My friend was with me and he freaked out. The constable along with the Inspector said " they are IT guys, have a lot of money, this is no big case for them ".

Finally I had to pay him 500 rupees for no fault of mine. This is the way how cops can get cash from innocent people like us. I whole agree that this was an incident where i should have not paid a single penny, but I was helpless. Have faced bad times with them and I feel they are a nuisance to good society than being of some help.

On the other hand I have seen good cops do their duty. But some cops are like the cop in Wanted movie ( Tamil pokiri movie ).
It is extremely sad to hear about such an experience. These people are trusted with the safety of the people and what they are doing is just literally the opposite!!

I have always thought of it as a good idea to have the audio recorder in your phone switched on while dealing with cops late night, especially in an area that is sparsely populated at that hour. Although I am not sure how that can be managed, but that sure can be a very helpful thing to do in such a situation.

Due to a lot of miscreants, many innocent people like you get penalized, where the cops get to take full advantage of your situation/

What we really need to do is stand up to these crooks, which in this case would mean fighting their accusation rather than submitting to them, but I do not blame you at all. We all are very aware of the hassles and risks involved in fighting such cases. Not that it is the right thing to do, but somehow it is always more acceptable to part with 500/- rather than get into unnecessary "jhamelas" like these. Makes me a most insulted citizen to say this, but then that is really the way our system works, with no solution anytime soon.
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Old 29th April 2012, 20:44   #3
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Default Re: Are headlights that emit white light illegal?

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Originally Posted by rajanprash View Post
....). He threatened me saying that I will report in the police station that I got the drugs from your car. I was Shocked. My friend was with me and he freaked out. The constable along with the Inspector said " they are IT guys, have a lot of money, this is no big case for them "....
This happened to me in the year 2006. I was residing in Mambalam in a Mansion. One fine evening when I returned from office, I was informed by the room boy, that police has come in search of you and have given me a number asking me to speak to them.
Those police men were from Tambaram traffic police station and When I called them he told me that, a hit and run case has been filed against me, and asked me to come to station the next day.
I was surprised to hear that and told I live in Mambalam and I have no work in Tambaram. But he was reluctant to hear and insisted that come and speak in station.
Next day myself along with my friend reached Tambaram traffic police station and met the inspector.
He showed me the complaint copy that was given by someone mentioning my bike reg number and it hit his father in law at around 02.00PM, and went unstopped. I tried explaining to him saying I dont come to Tambaram and this seems to be fake case. He was not in a mood to hear my story and said plz go compromise with the petitioner or they will file case and unnecessarily you will spend more. He also asked me to speak to that guy giving his number.

I told I am working, and proved that I was in office at the time of accident. But inspector was always in favor of that petitioner.
Then I understood something wrong and informed my uncle who was a Chief Justice in Chennai high court. He asked me the station number and gave him the same.
After he spoke to them and threatened that he will complain to the senior officials was left free. My uncle later told there are few police men engage in doing such things and asked me to take it light.

So the moral is not all police are good and not all police are actually police. In your case I suspect them as they may be criminals and not actual police men.
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Old 30th April 2012, 11:32   #4
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Default Extorted by Chennai cops for no fault of mine!

Very unfortunate experience. It's a real pity that our authorities sometimes focus on extorting innocent people out of their hard earned money while letting hardened criminals scot-free.

While it is easy for us to pass judgement and say you should have stuck to your guns and protested yur innocence, refused to pay a dime etc. the reality is often very different and safety of yourself and your family is paramount. Write it off as another aspect of the price we pay to live in our own country!

Last edited by noopster : 30th April 2012 at 11:38.
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Old 30th April 2012, 11:47   #5
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@rajanprash,

Very sad to hear about the incident. Pained to see law makers becoming law breakers. I think you should simply forget it and move on, be more vigilant.

To clam down your conciencce, here's a link to the website. vent your frustration out here, who knows somebody must be listening.
Post a Report | I Paid a Bribe
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Old 30th April 2012, 11:56   #6
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Default Re: Extorted by Chennai cops for no fault of mine!

What on earth is happening in India? It's always the common man who has been at the receiving end of things! We definitely not going towards becoming a "DEVELOPED NATION"! Shame on such people in the police force.

Last edited by noopster : 30th April 2012 at 12:03. Reason: Appreciate the sentiment but please maintain a calm tone in your posts, thanks!
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Old 30th April 2012, 11:57   #7
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Default Re: Extorted by Chennai cops for no fault of mine!

Very sad incident indeed. I know we tend to get confused and afraid in such situations where we feel helpless and perhaps it is easy to say on our part that you should have stood your ground and protested your innocence. But it is exactly our fear and vulnerabilities which are taken advantage of by those who are supposed to uphold and protect the law. As a result the citizen looses faith in the law further and sadly it has become a downward spiral and there is no end to it.

I really do not want to trivialize in any way the actual feelings of helplessness that you felt and the trauma you went through during the situation but if we are in a group traveling and we can do the following it might give us a thin chance of fighting back a little.
  • Note down the cops name(s) and rank(s) taking bribes
  • If possible use our cell phone cameras to take pictures, record video and audio of the incident
  • Insist that official paperwork be filed when threatened with such false charges

I know this sounds pretty ambitious given that none of us were in your situation but it is exactly our fear which is taken advantage of every time to subvert the law by those who are supposed to enforce it . Maybe if each one of us could try a little bit in the future we could bring about some changes, or we could let the country go to the dogs and carry on ranting and cursing about it. Just my 2 cents. Its no reflection or observation on anybody anywhere and apologies upfront if someone feels offended.
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Old 30th April 2012, 12:01   #8
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Default Re: Extorted by Chennai cops for no fault of mine!

Sometimes I wonder if it makes sense to NOT stop anywhere past midnight - who knows if those guys were real cops or conmen in a fancy dress.
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Old 30th April 2012, 12:02   #9
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Default Re: Extorted by Chennai cops for no fault of mine!

@rajanprash,

Sorry to hear about your incident. Yesterday, my friend was stopped at the ECR road, the police using their high tech breath analyzer(nose) found my friend to be drunk, which he was not.
He then told "Ok, come and collect the bike tomorrow after paying penalty at the court.".
He tried to convince that he was not drunk, and he only had some chinese food. Then the officers tone changed "Hmm, Ok give me hundred rupees or otherwise you have to go to court, pay penalty. Why you want to waste your time.".
He had no option other than pay the fine oops bribe.

Last edited by ecenandu : 30th April 2012 at 12:05.
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Old 30th April 2012, 12:03   #10
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Default Re: Extorted by Chennai cops for no fault of mine!

It was an unfortunate incident. Really sad to hear about it. As they say "with power comes responsibility" but in a few cases they just seem to use the power for filling up their pockets.

Probably a sting operation by a media group exposing similar incident and these corrupt people would put an end to this at least for a few days.


SD
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Old 30th April 2012, 12:05   #11
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Default Re: Extorted by Chennai cops for no fault of mine!

A special thanks for all for their responses. The main point what i would like to convey here is that the cops ( especially at late night duty ) find it a burden to work for the salary they are paid and hence involve in such activities.
I have seen the other side of good cops, who have caught me late at night ( Studying for college exams ),not wanting a single penny, they check for documents of ownership and have not fined for not wearing helmet also. Also some cops leave saying " Take Care and go home safely ".
Lesson I have learned :- If cops want to extract money from US(me), they can make infinite number of lame excuses. We cannot do anything except go with the wave. Experienced this numerous times.Unfortunately this is the plight of India. If cops are sincerely doing their duty, they will not be bothered for money.
I would say the percentage of bad cops ( AFAIK ) is more than the Good cops.
Hence, I think its better we stay away from them except in unavoidable situations.

Last edited by rajanprash : 30th April 2012 at 12:08.
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Old 30th April 2012, 12:19   #12
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Default Re: Extorted by Chennai cops for no fault of mine!

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The main point what i would like to convey here is that the cops ( especially at late night duty ) find it a burden to work for the salary they are paid and hence involve in such activities.
Fully agree. Cops in India are a way underpaid lot. It is by design that the law enforcement arm and the judiciary is severely underfunded by our politicians while they spend lavishly on themselves or creating useless subsidy schemes to fatten their offshore bank accounts.

Works very well for our politicians to run the cycle of corruption running in every sphere of life. Road users become easy targets naturally since they cannot go into people's homes and collect bribes.
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Old 30th April 2012, 12:24   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajanprash View Post
Lesson I have learned :- If cops want to extract money from US(me), they can make infinite number of lame excuses. We cannot do anything except go with the wave. Experienced this numerous times.Unfortunately this is the plight of India. If cops are sincerely doing their duty, they will not be bothered for money.
I would say the percentage of bad cops ( AFAIK ) is more than the Good cops.
Hence, I think its better we stay away from them except in unavoidable situations.

rajanprash,

If you try to stay away from such cops then still you may get trapped in such traps.

The best way out is -
  • Do not loose confidence and don't get nervous
  • Be confident and pull out your camera phone and start recording. (I am sure most of us have camera recording feature enabled in our cellphones with one or two button clicks. If not then try to put camera shortcuts and be expert to start recording without looking at the screen or keypad.)
  • Repeat his demands while keeping camera in your hand and facing towards him.
  • Also try to call him with his name during the recording
  • Pay him the bribe
  • Get inside your car and leave the venue.
  • Stop the recording
  • Reach your home safely
  • Next day, file a complaint to DCP /SP (minimum IAS rank) of the area with a copy to higher authorities (like commissioner of police, Vigilance dept. of Police, Home Ministry of your state etc.) and mention about the incident and mention the proof which you have got. And also mention that after this complaint, you still fear that such policemen may trap you in more false case(s).
Now relax at your home and after 15-20 days, file a RTI to track the progress of your complaint. Such cops need to be punished.


Cheers!
Irish

Last edited by Irish : 30th April 2012 at 12:38.
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Old 30th April 2012, 12:25   #14
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Default Re: Extorted by Chennai cops for no fault of mine!

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Lesson I have learned :- If cops want to extract money from US(me), they can make infinite number of lame excuses. We cannot do anything except go with the wave.
Being out-rightly honest & open out here, it's a pity you yielded to the police's antics. You are completely wrong up there. Saying this because I have almost undergone the same out here in Pune a month ago.

I had plans to spend the evening/night at a friend's place and reached his place at the decided time. However since he was caught up in last minute work at office, he informed me he'll take an hour extra. Having nothing to do, I parked my car at a nearby side lane (adjacent to an empty field). Spent the next 20-30 mins on the phone, and then decided to drive a bit to spend the next half an hour. Just then a cop on a bike braked in front of my car.

From his viewpoint, I could very much visualize the situation - a car parked in an empty lane with lights switched off and tinted windows up; no street lights on the absolutely empty lane - something's definitely up.

He immediately started (literally) abusing me, accusing me of drinking and upto something wrong. Showed him all my car documents and gave him the explanation - no use. He stuck to his point of me being drunk and outrightly asked me to bribe him. I flatly refused - asked him to get a breath analyzer, and even called his bluff of going to the police station. This could have gone really nasty (for me), but with a gruff, he finally left me alone.

I have to say it again - you probably should not have yielded - anyway, 500 Rs is a small amount for the learning experience.
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Old 30th April 2012, 12:33   #15
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Default Re: Extorted by Chennai cops for no fault of mine!

Why don't you write a complaint to the higher authorities (commissioner of Police, Chief secretary, Chief Minister's cell, Vigilance etc)?

Last edited by gmano : 30th April 2012 at 12:34.
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