HC declines to entertain plea seeking waiver of traffic challans to doctors

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Monday declined to entertain a plea by a doctors’ association seeking waiving of the e-challans issued against “all corona warriors”, including healthcare workers, during first two phases of the COVID-19 lockdown.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan asked the association to make a representation to the traffic police with regard to its prayers for formulation of guidelines on display of speed limit signboards and immediate intimation of violation to the violator, Delhi government additional standing counsel Santosh Tripathi said.

The bench stated that as and when such a representation is made, the authorities concerned will decide on it in accordance with the law and rules and as expeditiously as possible and practicable, he said.

With the direction, the court disposed of the plea which had contended that during the first two phases of lockdown, all the traffic signals were not functioning or were on auto blinking mode and consequently, “the alleged traffic violations are without any justified ground and reason thereof”.

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The detailed order is awaited.

The association, which according to the plea is a district branch of Delhi Medical Association, had stated that the e-challans were issued based on electronic surveillance alone.

“The traffic police has engaged in discriminatory practices by targeting the essential service providers by penalizing them without any application of mind during the lockdown,” said the petition filed through advocate Shashank Deo Sudhi.

Apart from waiving the traffic challans, the petition also sought formulation of comprehensive guidelines in respect of display of speed limit signboards.

The petition contended that there are roads in the national capital where within a 2km stretch, there would be several signboards indicating varying speed limits from 70 km per hour to 50 km per hour.

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On some roads, the signboards are not even clearly visible, it alleged.

The petition had also alleged that motorists are often also “victim of delayed intimation regarding the violation of traffic rules”.

“In this respect, it is submitted that if the traffic police could have mechanism to intimate the owner of the vehicles within 24 hours, so that the alleged violators may be cautious in future in respect of the traffic violation and they may not commit the same offences time and again of similar nature,” it said.

It sought a direction to traffic police for immediate intimation, preferably within 24 hours, via electronic mode about the violation as motorists usually get to know about it when e-challans are issued after a month or two.

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