DGP Karnataka has tweeted that
I reiterate again… no vehicle SHALL BE STOPPED merely for checking documents unless it has committed a traffic violation visible to the naked eye. Only exception is drunken driving.
This is nothing new we have been posting about it and you have been reading about it.
In 2017, Basavaraj Bommai Home minister answering JD(S) MLC H.M. Ramesh Gowda’s query during ‘Question Hour’ in the Legislative Council yesterday said
If you have not violated any traffic law, the Traffic Police cannot stop you just to check your documents.
The Traffic Police are not supposed to ask for vehicle documents after they stop the vehicles in the middle of the road.
“It has come to my notice that the Traffic Police are stopping the vehicles in the middle of the road in instances of the traffic rules violation. Police should take precautionary measures to avoid accidents and other untoward incidents while stopping vehicles. Policies should be followed in such situations. In this regard, appropriate directions have been given to the Department,” he said.
WHAT THE LAW SAYS
Even if a vehicle is stopped by Police on a road where there is less traffic, as per law, a Traffic Constable cannot check documents. It has to be done by an ASI rank officer or above.
Motorists can refuse to show the documents if the Police Constables stop the motorists and deliver the documents only to Policemen above the rank of ASI.
The Indian Motor Vehicles Act, Section 132, says only an Assistant Sub-Inspector (one star), Police Sub-Inspector (two-star) and Police Inspector (three-star) are authorized to receive payments against violation and issue a receipt.
No Police Constable or Head Constable can issue a receipt and therefore receive a payment. They can, however, record the violations on the basis of which violation ticket will follow.