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'Make Special Squads For Traffic Control In Greater Chennai'; Madras High Court Urges Authorities To Take Action Against Corrupt Practices By Traffic Police

Sebin James
20 Nov 2021 11:08 AM GMT
Make Special Squads For Traffic Control In Greater Chennai; Madras High Court Urges Authorities To Take Action Against Corrupt Practices By Traffic Police
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Recently, Madras High Court has come down heavily on the irregular parking before commercial establishments in GST Road, Chennai, and it has also made observations on the alleged complicity of traffic police in allowing such illegalities. A single bench of Justice S.M Subramaniam observed that special teams must be deployed in strategical urban areas during peak hours to avoid...

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Recently, Madras High Court has come down heavily on the irregular parking before commercial establishments in GST Road, Chennai, and it has also made observations on the alleged complicity of traffic police in allowing such illegalities.

A single bench of Justice S.M Subramaniam observed that special teams must be deployed in strategical urban areas during peak hours to avoid traffic congestion. On the issue of complaints about traffic police accepting freebies or Mamul in return for not intervening in traffic violations, the court added:

"There are allegations against the traffic police that they are accepting freebies from such commercial establishments and illegally permitting such parkings on the main road, which causes greater hardship to the public at large. The Commissioner of Police and the Municipal authorities must conduct surprise inspection in this regard and inactions, lapses, negligence, dereliction of duty on the part of the traffic police officials are to be viewed seriously and all appropriate actions are to be initiated."

The current petition was filed by Chrompet G.S.T.Salai, Puduvai Nagar Siruthozhil Vyaparigal Sangam, a Sangam claiming to be working for the welfare of small scale traders and residents in the area, registered under Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1973. The petition was filed for a writ of Mandamus, seeking directions to the police and municipal authorities to inspect the extent of traffic rules compliance by respondent commercial establishments.

The petitioner Sangam alleged that large scale irregular parking in front of many commercial establishments located in GST road, including these shops, were causing a nuisance to the general public. The petitioner also made an allegation that the traffic police officials were turning a blind eye to the plight of other commuters affected by this traffic congestion.

In addition to specially constituted squads in Greater Chennai and swift action on complaints against corrupt officials, Madras High Court has also asked for random surprise inspections in the commercial establishments to see if they are violating any of the Municipalities Rules, Government Orders or penal provisions. The Commissioner of Police has also been directed to sensitise traffic police about the consequences of prevailing traffic congestion.

"In the event of repeated violations or commission of offences, the Municipality is bound to reconsider the renewal of license or for cancellation of license granted to such traders in accordance with the Act and Rules", the order says.

Even when the traffic police can control the commuters in such a prime location effectively, they are deliberately choosing not to, the court recorded. Such illegalities must not only be controlled, but it also warrants to be dealt with an iron hand as per the court.

The image of the police department must be protected and the practice of traffic police being mute spectators of these violations shouldn't go on, Justice S.M Subramaniam noted. Even though CCTV cameras are installed in all strategic locations, the court took note of the innovative steps taken by officials to cover up the corrupt practices through the means of technology and the internet. Hence, the court has deemed it necessary for the higher officials to closely monitor their subordinate officers, along with frequent inspections through intelligence and yearly verification of assets accumulated.

"No leniency can be shown in respect of such illegalities prevailing amongst the Police officials and the higher authorities in this regard are duty-bound to initiate all appropriate actions", the court maintains its strict approach in the order.

While laying down stringent directions to the authorities, the court also recorded:

"Free flow of traffic being a right, is to be ensured in the interest of our great Nation…Traffic congestions, delay in reaching the destination not only causes mental agony and in most circumstances, it affects the economy of our great Nation. Importance of public roads to be sensitized amongst the traffic police officials and other public officials as it contributes to the development."

The authorities have been directed to report its compliance on 21st December, 2021.

Case Title: Chrompet G.S.T. Salai, Puduvai Nagar Siruthozhil Vyaparigal Sangam v. The Commissioner of Police & Ors.

Case No: W.P.No.29785 of 2011

Click Here To Read/ Download Order


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