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Old 3rd March 2019, 19:24   #1
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Default Traffic Police extorting money from car owners at toll plazas

Traffic Police Extort Money from Vehicle Owners/Drivers even though the Vehicle Documents are Correct.

There are four NHAI's Toll Plazas each at 1. Patas, 2. Sardewadi on Indapur Bypass, 3. Varwade, and 4. Sawaleshwar between Solapur and Pune 4 Lane Expressway NH-65 (Old NH-9).
At all the above Toll Plazas, the Traffic Police stand in groups since they too much concerned about the violations of Motor Vehicle Act Rules (Really?).

On 1st March 2019, I was returning to Solapur from Pune with my Family in our Xylo. I was on the driver's Seat with my Seat Belt Fastened.
When I crossed the Toll Plaza, one of Traffic Police signaled me to stop. I parked the car to the side, got down and walked to the Police. He asked for Driving License, I showed him. Then he asked whether I have PUC. I showed him the same. He checked the date on the PUC which was of Sept. 2018.

Then he told me that the Luggage on the carrier is illegal and I will have to pay the fine for same. I politely said "Sir, there is no rule saying that we cannot keep luggage on the carrier. And no one has stopped us in Pune stating that the luggage on the carrier is illegal". To this he said "No, you will have to pay the fine of Rs. 200/- as it illegal."
I agreed to pay. I gave Rs. 200/- to the Police and waited for Receipt. He kept Rs. 100/- and returned Rs. 100/- and told me to go. Again I politely said "Sir, give me the receipt". He then wrote the Receipt for Rs. 200/- and reason he mentioned was 138 (3)/177. I returned to our car and searched if the Section he charged is correct. I came to know that the Section charged to me is for Seatbelt not fastened despite I had put my Seat-belt. I went back to the Police and told him that the Section charged to me is incorrect to which he started giving me some irrelevant answers such as "Seatbelts should be fastened by all the occupants. And that other members had not fastened the Seat Belts."

I replied "Sir, there is no rule that all the occupants should wear Seat Belts. Even in Pune and Mumbai, it is not mandatory that all the occupants should be wearing Seat Belts. None of the Traffic Police has caught us in Pune City for this. So how is that you are charging us?"

To which he starting dilly-dallying and the other members of his group came for his help in this game. My maternal uncle got down from car and came near us and starting recording the video while asking to justify the Fine taken from us under wrong Section. One of them understood that the video is being recorded and snatched the phone and started arguing that why are we recording video and shouted at us angrily "Take the car towards Chowki (Police Station)". I decided to fight and take the car to the Police Station and came near the car. I took U Turn and brought the car near the Police Group. Then the group's "Head" in Khaki Uniform said to the person-who-had-told-me-to-take-the-car-to-Police-Station "Why are you arguing with them as now they have already paid the money?"

I would like to mention that the Police argued even with the ladies (my mother) sitting in our vehicle.

Then we decided that we would record video from a distance while these police extort money from other vehicle owners/drivers so that we can upload the same on social media and let the common people know about this.

So here it goes. The videos were shot by my wife who was sitting behind the Driver's Seat (me).

1. First video- Traffic Police Signaled a Truck Driver to stop and the latter gets down with only money in hand (No Vehicle Papers necessary when you have Paper of "Father of the Nation" in Hand).


2. Second Video-
In this video, it can be seen the Police writing Challan of the above Truck Driver (but took money by moving him in front of our camera such that his hand cannot be seen). The Section under which the Driver was charged is mentioned as 130/177.
Traffic Police extorting money from car owners at toll plazas-truck-driver-challan.png
When I checked this Section at-Indian Driving Schools Traffic Offences And Penalties
, the Offences mentioned for this section are as below-
1. Driving without valid insurance,
2. Driving without valid permit,
3. Driving without valid fitness


The Minimum Penalty for this 130/177 is Rs. 2000/- (as per above link). Then how is that the Police charged him just Rs. 200/-?
The driver told that he is charged Rs. 200/- every month at this toll plaza. (I am confident that the Police issued him Challan because he was aware that we were recording their activity. Else he would have just taken Rs. 200/- without giving receipt and that money would have been spent on a late night party.

The Truck Driver further told that at next toll plaza, he is given a "card" by the Traffic Police after taking Rs. 300/- from him.




Even though I had shown my license to the Police, he did not write my name correctly on the receipt.
Traffic Police extorting money from car owners at toll plazas-img-edited.jpg
Traffic Police extorting money from car owners at toll plazas-img_20190304_100639.jpg


I will keep posting such videos in this thread in the future too.

Fellow Bhpians are requested to share videos of similar incidents they come across in their vicinity or during any journey.

Last edited by Aditya : 10th March 2019 at 19:45. Reason: As requested
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Old 5th March 2019, 08:00   #2
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Default re: Traffic Police extorting money from car owners at toll plazas

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 5th March 2019, 08:27   #3
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Default re: Traffic Police extorting money from car owners at toll plazas

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Originally Posted by IndigoXLGrandDi View Post
Fellow Bhpians are requested to share videos of similar incidents they come across in their vicinity or during any journey.
The more important question is, was the money refunded to you, or did they keep the Rs.200? If they did keep the Rs.200, in my view, you were better off accepting the Rs.100/- they gave back to you as you'd have been Rs.100/- richer by then, you were even willing to travel to the police station which would've been a further waste of time and money.

I don't mean to say that you wasted your time in such investigation, but living in India has taught me one thing - do not argue with the police, once I was flagged down for a very obvious stupid reason, I and 2-3 other cars were caught in the middle of an orange-to-red transition because a lazy bus ahead stopped, the cops knew this and still nailed us. The cop started with Rs.200/- as fine, I looked at him as if to indicate if he didn't see what had actually happened.. asked him to reconsider his decision, he said "wokay, 100", I knew that arguing with him is futile, paid up and went on my way. Another time I was going on a freeway within city-limits and I was yet again flagged down for over-speeding (seems 60 is the limit, I don't know exactly how fast I was going but surely it was around that mark), this time I didn't argue but I told him that I wasn't aware of this speed limit as there were ZERO indications of the same and I also told him that I surely wouldn't have crossed the limit by that much if at all. He agreed and came down from Rs.300 to again, 100. I paid up and cut the losses.

Again, I make no apologies for conforming with the system, for the sake of convenience, specially since the system itself is bent and looks for excuses (at times) to make money. Traffic cops sometimes flag you down for no reason, its a renowned fact in India.. pander to their occasional urges and leave the place, quick. That's what I've learnt.
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Old 5th March 2019, 08:35   #4
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Default re: Traffic Police extorting money from car owners at toll plazas

Toll booths are now an eternal favorite for the cops, especially in the state of Maharashtra and from me it is a de-facto advise is to look out for cops after booths when driving here. One of the states with highest private cars and clogged highways on all days, they know where to find you.

Needless to say, keep all your documents preferably in original with you to produce when asked - Soft copies, DigiLocker, Handy screenshots of Govt notification are secondary unless you know the language (local), the way to communicate this, have patience to wait till the babus let you go or even worse, after wasting so much time you are allowed to go after you produce the originals!

In my umpteen Bangalore-Pune-Mumbai runs, I was stopped soon after the booths (this one was little beyond the booth) only once last year and upon producing the documents he simply let me go.



During the same drive, somewhere after one more booth, the cops signaled me to pull over as my car emerged out of the toll booth lane but upon close inspection that both in front were buckled (Damn they can't expect monkeys reading books not to know the basics of climbing a tree feeling), he signals to let us continue without stopping.

Traffic Police extorting money from car owners at toll plazas-cops-booth.jpg

In the above screen-grab, you can notice the impeccable resource assignment where there is a cop stationed nearly for each toll booth lane and you just cannot escape their eyes.

The story is similar at the Khalapur toll plaza of Pune-Mumbai expressway as well and I have seen cops being there as early as 05:00am too!

Their targets are in the order of preference below:
  • No Seat Belts
  • Out of State cars
  • Commercial passenger vehicles - Force Travelers, Trax, Tata Magic, Sumo, - Tavera etc which usually give the first impression of being loaded to brim including the luggage carriers and every possible change of private registration vehicles doing the duty like commercial (Very common).
  • Trucks and other commercial vehicles are flagged in general based on the registration numbers (Out of state)

On yesterday when I was returning from Udupi, they tried to stop my car (not traffic cops but law and order) between Katpadi and Belman and when we closed in and they noticed seat belts in place, they just let us go!

Bottom line - As private car owners if your documents are in place and you have not done any visibly distinct modifications that can catch the eyes of the cops, rest assured you will only have to spend few minutes showing the documents and carry on and in most cases not even do that as they realize upon your body language.

Honestly, with so many drives in the past crossing nearly every state barring North-East, buckling alone (front passengers at minimum) has ensured we were let go without a fuss but I have also known cases where even auxiliary fog lamps (even with covers) or roof top carriers have invited their attention as my friend was stopped near Pathankot for having these lights that were covered.

Triva : You can be fined for driving with chappals too and I do remember how many were stopped/fined especially in the state of J&K for this.

Last edited by paragsachania : 5th March 2019 at 08:47.
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Old 5th March 2019, 09:51   #5
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Default re: Traffic Police extorting money from car owners at toll plazas

Quote:
Originally Posted by dark.knight View Post
The more important question is, was the money refunded to you, or did they keep the Rs.200? If they did keep the Rs.200, in my view, you were better off accepting the Rs.100/- they gave back to you as you'd have been Rs.100/- richer by then, you were even willing to travel to the police station which would've been a further waste of time and money.

Again, I make no apologies for conforming with the system, for the sake of convenience, specially since the system itself is bent and looks for excuses (at times) to make money. Traffic cops sometimes flag you down for no reason, its a renowned fact in India.. pander to their occasional urges and leave the place, quick. That's what I've learnt.
I have been penalized twice and I demanded the receipt and paid the whole amount. But personally I wouldn't do that especially for traffic related penalties.
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Old 5th March 2019, 15:04   #6
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Default re: Traffic Police extorting money from car owners at toll plazas

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Originally Posted by dark.knight View Post
The more important question is, was the money refunded to you, or did they keep the Rs.200? If they did keep the Rs.200, in my view, you were better off accepting the Rs.100/- they gave back to you as you'd have been Rs.100/- richer by then, you were even willing to travel to the police station which would've been a further waste of time and money.
I don't think they can return the money once the receipt is written.

Also I wanted the receipt because I did not want the money to be ended in Pocket of Police instead of going to the Government.

We wanted to go the Police Station since we were wrongly booked under Section 138(3)/177 even though I had my Seat Belt Fastened and initially stating the reason (verbally) for booking under Luggage-on-Carrier.

Also regarding accepting of Rs. 100/- returned by the Police, I hereby desire to make clear that he would not have given me the receipt of Rs. 100/- (he kept) and that Rs. 100/- would have gone in funding late night party.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dark.knight View Post
I don't mean to say that you wasted your time in such investigation, but living in India has taught me one thing - do not argue with the police
This is the reason behind the Increase in such (stopping and harassing common people) Activities. I am not saying you should argue but (discreetly) record the video of the conversation and upload on social media.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dark.knight View Post
once I was flagged down for a very obvious stupid reason, I and 2-3 other cars were caught in the middle of an orange-to-red transition because a lazy bus ahead stopped, the cops knew this and still nailed us.
Hence when I see Amber Light or when I feel I would not be able to cross the road at a signal, I decide to better stop for 2 minutes (Hey, in Solapur, the timers are not longer than 1.5-2 minutes) than to pay Rs. 100-200/- to the Police as paying fine to police takes same time to wait at the signal. So whats the point in paying the police?
Quote:
Originally Posted by dark.knight View Post
Traffic cops sometimes flag you down for no reason, its a renowned fact in India.. pander to their occasional urges and leave the place, quick. That's what I've learnt.
That is why I started this thread so that such activities should see the light of day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
Triva : You can be fined for driving with chappals too and I do remember how many were stopped/fined especially in the state of J&K for this.
Did not know about this till now. Is it any Chappals or only the Flip-Flops (slippers)?

Last edited by suhaas307 : 7th March 2019 at 15:38. Reason: Spacing
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Old 5th March 2019, 18:22   #7
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Default re: Traffic Police extorting money from car owners at toll plazas

I too have seen traffic police around toll plazas on the Pune to Kolhapur stretch. I travelled to Kolhapur about a month back and the cops were there after every toll plaza. I think they were looking for vehicles which have visible signs of rule violation, like seat belt not worn by front occupants, or aftermarket accessories etc.

I wasn't stopped by any of the cops as I and my co-passenger on the front seat always had seat belt on.
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Old 6th March 2019, 10:08   #8
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Default Re: Traffic Police extorting money from car owners at toll plazas

From what I know, traffic hawaldars can ONLY flag a vehicle if there is a violation ex. jumping signal, no seat belts, etc. They CANNOT stop and ask for any vehicle documents. I believe there was an HC order about the same as well.

A few months ago I was stopped at the entry point of Mahabaleshwar, they were stopping every yellow plate car and mine being one was stopped as well.

All I asked the cop was why was ONLY my car stopped, and WHY are they letting go all private cars? He was flummoxed and soon realized that I ain't a generic tourist taxi driver who's going to be scared and pay up. I just stood my ground and he let me go!

I feel cops here have gotten used to not being challenged, and when they are they usually don't get into arguments, considering it's a waste of time plus with the days of social media it is really easy for someone to post the story online.

IndigoXLGrandDi did the right thing by challenging the cop.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 7th March 2019 at 15:39. Reason: Spacing
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Old 6th March 2019, 10:41   #9
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Default Re: Traffic Police extorting money from car owners at toll plazas

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Originally Posted by IndigoXLGrandDi View Post
Then he asked whether I have PUC. I showed him the same.
Checking PUC is within the domain of the RTO if i remember correctly. There was some circular issued by Traffic Police directing its officers not to ask for any vehicular documents on the road. I am assuming the said circular is still in force!

https://mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com/...w/57698621.cms

Quote:
Joint Commissioner of Police, Milind Bharambe has asked his men not to ask motorists for any vehicular documents on the road.

This, however, does not apply to nakabandis conducted by the local police and is only limited to the traffic police.

The traffic cops should not demand any documents issued to the motorist by the Regional Transport Department, the Insurance papers of the vehicles or PUC certificate among other documents while conducting driver on road.
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Old 6th March 2019, 11:35   #10
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Default Re: Traffic Police extorting money from car owners at toll plazas

Money extortion at toll plazas is rampant, more so in Maharashtra then in other states that I have been to. A vehicle crossing a toll plaza is such a soft target, and if one manages to escape they would immediately radio their pals standing guard at the next toll plaza.

About a year back our taxi was stopped by one such traffic cop at Khalapur toll plaza, the reason given was excessive lane cutting. The driver was driving sedately and he wasn't cutting lanes while driving. When we asked for proof, they told us to wait for a couple of hours as the guy who captured our violation will travel from the spot once he has recorded a certain number of violations. Stumped by this excuse, our cab driver handed over Rs. 200 without getting any receipt and we proceeded towards Mumbai.
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Old 6th March 2019, 14:24   #11
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Default Re: Traffic Police extorting money from car owners at toll plazas

One of the most basic assumptions everyone here makes is that the receipts issued by them are genuine.

There is no way one can check this factor, but I know that there is a fraud in there as well.
If they are happily doling out receipts of any amount that you pay them, that means that the receipt book itself is a fraud.

How I know this? One of a colleague also has a printing press. He sometimes gets customers from the dept (in plain clothes of course) asking for printing a look-alike receipt book. He turns them away, but not everyone does that.

Going forward, the best way is to tell them you are not carrying cash and ask them to take a picture of the offence and charge your vehicle number, and you will pay it online.

This way, at least the money does not go in their hands.

Last edited by vinit.merchant : 6th March 2019 at 14:27.
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Old 6th March 2019, 14:49   #12
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Default Re: Traffic Police extorting money from car owners at toll plazas

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Originally Posted by vinit.merchant View Post
How I know this? One of a colleague also has a printing press. He sometimes gets customers from the dept (in plain clothes of course) asking for printing a look-alike receipt book. He turns them away, but not everyone does that.
An article had once appeared in Bangalore Edition of Mirror where there was a report about fake receipts and fake notices and a nexus working between the cops and those associated with the court of law. And it is exactly from this day onward, I first doubt about the veracity of such 'receipts'.

EDIT : Here you go - Banks, court staff fake judge's orders

Last edited by paragsachania : 6th March 2019 at 14:51.
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Old 6th March 2019, 15:47   #13
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Default Re: Traffic Police extorting money from car owners at toll plazas

Quote:
Traffic Police Extort Money from Vehicle Owners/Drivers even though the Vehicle Documents are Correct.
Kudos to you for having the patience & will to fight against the khakis. Most would've just paid the Rs 100-200 & be done away with.
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Old 6th March 2019, 16:15   #14
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Default Re: Traffic Police extorting money from car owners at toll plazas

I have been flagged down like many of you as soon I entered Maharashtra during my Blore to Pune trips. Since I have a XUV, PUC was the main target. They pointed me to a van standing around to go and get my PUC. This one was a joke as the guy in the van just handed me a PUC slip after paying 120 INR. No pollution check done whatsoever unlike the norm as i have seen in Blore.

So , yet another way they make their money. And yes, out of state boards are the ones they catch most frequently as I saw many other "KA board" cars parked on the side haggling with these cops.

I had a similar experience when traveling from Chandigarh to Manali. Was stopped in Chandigarh, fortunately had all papers in place and was let go.

I was once stopped at a Ahmedabad toll plaza on my way to Rajasthan and this time the excuse was that my headlight was missing the mandatory yellow strip to curb high beam. Cop kept claiming it is a law and I had to argue it is no longer valid. Finally, I had to make a call to an influential relative in the state to get the cops to back off. There were many others parked on the side like me who were not so lucky.

Common folk are always going to be harassed by these so called protectors of the law in India. We can keep fighting and unfortunately we will lose the battle 9 out of 10 times. I am in no way alluding to the point that we should let it be, just stating from my experiences.
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Old 6th March 2019, 17:22   #15
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Default Re: Traffic Police extorting money from car owners at toll plazas

I have a similar experience.
Recently I was driving solo from Kolkata to Hyderabad and when I was crossing the last Toll Plaza in WB and entering into Odisha, I was stopped by the local Police. They asked me to show all the necessary documents including the Car GST Invoice. I was carrying all the documents except for the GST Invoice( Generally we do not require the GST Invoice after the car gets registered.) The cops continued pestering me for the GST Invoice and since I was unable to present the same, they asked me to pay the State Road tax amounting to 2% of the Car Value . But luckily before leaving for the trip, I did my share of research and saved the necessary documents on my Phone as PDF. So I was pretty confident that the cops are just trying their luck to get some money from me. I challenged them and asked them to take me to the nearest RTA where I want to talk to some senior officials. This played the trick and the cops told me that for this time, they are letting me go, but every time I am crossing the state border, I should even carry GST invoice of the car.
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