Around 11.15 AM at Ramdev Galli a person in Civil dress which had a small mention of sticker as police above his rear number plate was seen collecting fines from bikers who were coming in the one way. Yes the bikes were violating the traffic rules but Can a Police officer in Civil dress fine for traffic violations ?
Any police officer for that matter can inspect documents under suspicious circumstances or on reasonable suspicion and refer the matter to Traffic Police for further action or investigation.
WHAT THE LAW SAYS
The Indian Motor Vehicles Act, section 132, says only an asst. 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. This ticket can be settled at any of the traffic police stations. In case a constable or head constable threatens you with spot fine, insist on getting a receipt and the chances are that he will let you go because he is not authorised to issue a receipt or receive money.
The Bangalore Mirror in an article quotes Commissioner of police Raghavendra Auradkar,
If the constable is stopping the vehicles and checking documents, it is illegal, people can bring it to the notice of senior police officials.
- The public can refuse to show them documents and complain about them to seniors
- If you have not violated any traffic law, the traffic police cannot stop you just to ”check your documents (but in Belagavi this is not followed)
Also, as per law, a traffic constable cannot check your documents, it has to be done by an ASI rank officer or above
The said matter has been brought to the notice of the higher officers.