Hyderabad Traffic Police Crackdown On Tampered Number Plates

Hyderabad: When Hyderabad Traffic police introduced the e-challan system for checking traffic rule violations, it was billed as a path-breaking initiative to bring a semblance of order to Hyderabad roads. The traffic policeman equipped with digital cameras began shooting pictures of traffic violators and later sent them the challan. The CCTV cameras on traffic signposts were also used to take photos of the errant motorists.

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But trust the Hyderabadis to come up with novel solutions to hoodwink the cops. They began tinkering with the number plates, often disfiguring a digit in the number plate or sometimes twisting the metal number plate in such a way that the number is not caught in photos. Some had even removed the plates, while more enterprising had pillion riders covering the plate with notebooks, hands, or even dupattas.

But the police officers too got the better of these enterprising youth. Now they began slapping criminal cases against such ingenious motorcyclists. When they find a two-wheeler without a number plate or a tampered one, they now register cases of cheating under section 420 of the IPC.

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In a special drive taken up last week, the Hyderabad traffic police got cheating cases, under section 420 of the IPC, registered against 35 vehicle owners at different police stations for these number plate rule violations. A chargesheet is to be filed in the court of law and a regular trial is to take place shortly. A conviction under section 420 can be a jail term of seven years with or without a fine.

During this special drive, the police also registered cases against 40 persons for allowing minors to drive their vehicles. The law stipulates that a minor can not drive a vehicle because he is eligible to get a driving license only after becoming a major.

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The traffic police officers say such special drives will be taken up regularly and appealed to people to have proper registration plates fixed. They also warned people not to hand over their vehicles to minors which is a punishable offense under Sections 180/177 of the MV Act, which entails a penalty of three months in jail or a fine of Rs.5000 or both.

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