Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Street Experiences


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 17th August 2012, 16:19   #1
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Pune
Posts: 80
Thanked: 3 Times
Default Police/ Security Checking Cars: Is it Legal?

In these troubled times, it has become a common practice at shopping malls, hotels, airports etc. for vehicles to be stopped and the boots checked, sometimes even the passenger compartment and under the vehicles.

The question is, is it legal? If not, what can be done to protect oneself from such intrusions? What's the law in India?

I understand too that if one is entering private premises (like a shopping mall) then the owner can ask for the car to be checked, and refuse permission for entry of the vehicle, in case one refuses to comply. My question is in cases where one is stopped by the police for such checking. A few days ago, my friend was stopped, and the police managed to damage the lock on his spanking new Etios by slamming it too hard. They just asked him to shut-up and move on.

The reason for asking is of-course, films and serials from the US/ UK that make a big fuss about this... apparently "over there", one has to explicitly give permission to the police for them to check your vehicle (or they have a warrant, or in an emergency when the police suspect that a crime is about to be committed). Maybe somebody who has lived abroad can comment on this aspect.

Mods: I searched for a similar question, couldn't find one here.
DrunkenMonk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th August 2012, 16:38   #2
BHPian
 
the.city's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Chennai
Posts: 41
Thanked: 7 Times
Default Re: Police/ Security Checking Cars: Is it Legal?

From what I understand - It is legal. It's legal because you have a choice - if you don't like the invasion of privacy, you are free to not use the services of that mall/hotel/airport.

It should be illegal if police comes your home and wants to inspect your car at your own home. That needs a warrant.

As an analogy - your luggage (and, to be frank, your own body) is checked by security at airports. That is legal because that again is your choice. Don't like it - don't use airport. That's the (rather unfortunate) legal angle.

Note: I'm not an expert. Just quoting what I recently discussed with some of my friends. Feel free to correct me.
the.city is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th August 2012, 16:39   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
MileCruncher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 3,985
Thanked: 351 Times
Default Re: Police/ Security Checking Cars: Is it Legal?

@DrunkenMonk: Firstly interesting handle. Secondly you live in India. AFAIK Police has the right to stop any vehicle check if they feel there is a security threat. Your refusal to comply to the checking may tantamount to being a security threat. However in the case like your friend's he can file a police complaint and the onus will be on the police to prove why your friend's vehicle was stopped.

Bottomline: Its a murky world out there. I'm sure you don't want to get into this. But if you really have time, patience and money in overflowing quantities, I can suggest you a way.

Cheers
MileCruncher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th August 2012, 16:58   #4
BHPian
 
Daewood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Chennai
Posts: 943
Thanked: 223 Times
Default Re: Police/ Security Checking Cars: Is it Legal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrunkenMonk View Post
apparently "over there", one has to explicitly give permission to the police for them to check your vehicle (or they have a warrant, or in an emergency when the police suspect that a crime is about to be committed).
Even here it's the rule, but no one is aware of his rights and hardly protest. A couple of years back the Commisioner of Police here in Chennai, gave a statement through the media that traffic cops have no right to stop you and check unless you commit a violation, or if some specific search order is issued based intelligence inputs.

Last edited by Daewood : 17th August 2012 at 17:00.
Daewood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th August 2012, 17:04   #5
BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Gurgaon/MBD
Posts: 178
Thanked: 68 Times
Default Re: Police/ Security Checking Cars: Is it Legal?

More than it be a debate of being legal or illegal, this matter is for the safety of all the people using a mall/airport. I am sure nobody(police/mall guards) are told to do it for fun. Its for our safety.

Being in India where Terrorist attacks are so prominent, I think its just a shot on creating some crowded places, restricted from being effected.

I know terrorists still find their way and do something...but I don't want to get into that debate. Believe me, attacks would increase by leaps and bounds if these things are not in place.
Fiest@DuraTec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th August 2012, 17:18   #6
BHPian
 
PatchyBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Earth
Posts: 822
Thanked: 1,187 Times
Default Re: Police/ Security Checking Cars: Is it Legal?

Here in Bangalore, the Traffic police have strict instructions not to stop any vehicle for document check or minor traffic violations like signal jumping, illegal U turn etc. This is to avoid traffic jams. The traffic police are now equipped with P&S digital cameras and click pictures of offenders. A violation is then raised and notice sent to the vehicle owner's address as registered with the RTO.

In addition to this, BTP also has a very sophisticated Traffic Management Center, where all the networked cameras strategically located across Bangalore are monitored and violations raised against offenders.

How effective this system is a different discussion altogether. Having said that, the regular police (Law&Order) are within their right to stop any vehicle to check for papers or a visual inspection of the vehicle interiors. They usually do this when a get away vehicle of a crime matches the description of your car or when your driving style is suspicious.

Rajan
PatchyBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th August 2012, 17:21   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
mayankjha1806's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: BLR/Gurgaon
Posts: 2,133
Thanked: 817 Times
Default Re: Police/ Security Checking Cars: Is it Legal?

More than inconvenience, i would say its for our own safety. If it means i will be safe while i am shopping in the mall with my family, i am open to such checks. In-fact i fret at how inadequate the checks really are, they only check under the engine and boot which i views is insufficient (Now i do not want to give ideas) .
mayankjha1806 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th August 2012, 17:21   #8
BHPian
 
sriramv.iyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 803
Thanked: 621 Times
Default Re: Police/ Security Checking Cars: Is it Legal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiest@DuraTec View Post
More than it be a debate of being legal or illegal, this matter is for the safety of all the people using a mall/airport. I am sure nobody(police/mall guards) are told to do it for fun. Its for our safety.
The security personnel in hotels and malls have NO IDEA what to look for when they check. I once asked them what they were looking for and when they'd stop me. They had no idea what they were looking for.

All these checks are waste of time and I can't remember ONE incident when these guys caught ANYTHING at all.

Marriot Chennai security wants the visitors to open the car bonnet, as if the bomb will be carried in a visible manner.
sriramv.iyer is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 17th August 2012, 17:56   #9
Distinguished - BHPian
 
amitoj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Nashua, NH
Posts: 2,947
Thanked: 1,584 Times
Default Re: Police/ Security Checking Cars: Is it Legal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrunkenMonk View Post
A few days ago, my friend was stopped, and the police managed to damage the lock on his spanking new Etios by slamming it too hard.
That's one fragile lock that Etios has if it got damaged so easily! The one in my OHC finally gave up after repeated bangings from the security guys at EGL. It didn't help matters though that i had padding inside the boot to prevent vibrations from the subwoofer, which made the boot really heavy.
Anyway, that got fixed by a little realignment of the lock at the friendly neighbourhood garage. But after that, i never allowed security to open my boot. I just used to tell them that it is stuck and can't be opened.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrunkenMonk View Post
The reason for asking is of-course, films and serials from the US/ UK that make a big fuss about this... apparently "over there", one has to explicitly give permission to the police for them to check your vehicle (or they have a warrant, or in an emergency when the police suspect that a crime is about to be committed). Maybe somebody who has lived abroad can comment on this aspect.
"Over here" police needs a "probable cause" to search your car. I saw one episode on TV where they stopped a car for a broken taillight and found a bag of weed on the passenger seat. That gave them enough PC to check the car. Even on the Mexican border, they can not search a car without a probable cause, like an indication from a sniffer dog.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sriramv.iyer View Post
The security personnel in hotels and malls have NO IDEA what to look for when they check. I once asked them what they were looking for and when they'd stop me. They had no idea what they were looking for.
I once got this answer to same question, "red pencil box with wires coming out of it"
amitoj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th August 2012, 18:02   #10
BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Gurgaon/MBD
Posts: 178
Thanked: 68 Times
Default Re: Police/ Security Checking Cars: Is it Legal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sriramv.iyer View Post
The security personnel in hotels and malls have NO IDEA what to look for when they check. I once asked them what they were looking for and when they'd stop me. They had no idea what they were looking for.

All these checks are waste of time and I can't remember ONE incident when these guys caught ANYTHING at all.

Marriot Chennai security wants the visitors to open the car bonnet, as if the bomb will be carried in a visible manner.
I can't agree more with you. I also get irritated when these guys check the boot, while I can carry a pretty much potential bomb in the car's glove box/under the seat. I know if a person wants, these guys won't be able to catch anything, but its just a hurdle created for someone who tries.

I'll narrate an incident, I was carrying an empty gas cylinder kept in my car's boot, the Inorbit security did not allow me in. I asked them what about the cars which have gas cylinders fitted in them for fuel, they had no answer. I left the place, took a round and kept the cylinder on the rear seat covered with a cloth and came in thru the next entry, without any fuss.

I agree, but I just feel they're doing it for some purpose, getting paid for the same. No businessman is going to pay 5-10 guards unneccessarily just to open the boot and close it.

P.S. : Though I have had a fight with lot of them when they close the boot of my car with all the power they have, it hurts

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
I once got this answer to same question, "red pencil box with wires coming out of it"
Quite smart, perfectly knew what he was looking for. It helps to have a few of them around, I would surely feel safe knowing they're outside

Last edited by Eddy : 17th August 2012 at 21:45. Reason: extra smiley
Fiest@DuraTec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th August 2012, 18:27   #11
BHPian
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 885
Thanked: 274 Times
Default Re: Police/ Security Checking Cars: Is it Legal?

In the road, during election times in Tamil Nadu, random vehicle checks for illegal money for distribution was the norm. However, the cops never open the boot or your bags by themselves. They ask you to do it while standing a few feet away. This is unlike in malls where you are in the car and the security checks the boot.
wildsdi5530 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th August 2012, 19:10   #12
BHPian
 
asdon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 950
Thanked: 292 Times
Default Re: Police/ Security Checking Cars: Is it Legal?

Interesting discussion, I think we all should allow vehicles to be checked while entering places like Malls/ Hotels etc. But when we go out of state many of us face documents checking and few questions from visiting State's police stationed just after the state border, how legal is that? Isn't this RTO's job to check vehicle papers?
asdon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th August 2012, 19:32   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: DL9C
Posts: 2,385
Thanked: 1,983 Times
Default Re: Police/ Security Checking Cars: Is it Legal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by asdon View Post
Interesting discussion, I think we all should allow vehicles to be checked while entering places like Malls/ Hotels etc. But when we go out of state many of us face documents checking and few questions from visiting State's police stationed just after the state border, how legal is that? Isn't this RTO's job to check vehicle papers?
Police might check the outstation vehicle from a 'security threat' angle. Traffic police might check from the 'evading road tax' angle.

RTO is only concerned with proving the legal documents necessary to keep a car on road. Enforcement lies with the Traffic Police. They have to make sure the cars on road have all the necessary documents and comply with the MV act.
Dry Ice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th August 2012, 20:00   #14
Distinguished - BHPian
 
vb-san's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: S'pore/Thrissur
Posts: 4,579
Thanked: 3,479 Times
Default Re: Police/ Security Checking Cars: Is it Legal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrunkenMonk View Post
In these troubled times, it has become a common practice at shopping malls, hotels, airports etc. for vehicles to be stopped and the boots checked, sometimes even the passenger compartment and under the vehicles.

The question is, is it legal? If not, what can be done to protect oneself from such intrusions? What's the law in India?
I am not sure if itís legal but in my opinion itís very much needed, especially in the troubled times we are in. The extent of these checks depend one social/political composition of that place. I personally consider this as a necessity rather than intrusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrunkenMonk View Post
My question is in cases where one is stopped by the police for such checking. A few days ago, my friend was stopped, and the police managed to damage the lock on his spanking new Etios by slamming it too hard. They just asked him to shut-up and move on.
Thatís quite unfortunate, and even more unfortunate is that public cannot question these callous acts from the protectors of law.

But again, there could be different opinions on these roadside checks. Couple of years back, when I was in Bangalore, we were stopped by police on 3 consecutive nights. They peep inside, saw that I am with family, and immediately let us go. At that point, I was quite upset with those inconveniences. But later when I read about some of the incidents (especially in the mugging thread), thought those kind of checking might have saved at least a few possible victims.
vb-san is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th August 2012, 20:36   #15
Team-BHP Support
 
Rudra Sen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 10,327
Thanked: 3,832 Times
Default Re: Police/ Security Checking Cars: Is it Legal?

Mods note: Thread moved to Street and Travel Experiences.
Rudra Sen is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ultimate Cop Cars - Police cars from around the world VTEC11 The International Automotive Scene 340 17th August 2017 13:35
Traffic Police menace - Towing away of vehicles. What are the legal recourses? Raccoon Street Experiences 40 17th December 2013 09:41
New member checking in. His Highness Introduce yourself 7 30th July 2008 16:54
Is there any way for checking genuiness for spare parts ? maxbhp The Indian Car Scene 4 15th May 2006 13:51
Checking Mileage? swaroop_babu Technical Stuff 10 5th May 2006 19:02


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 15:48.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks