Mumbai man fined for giving lift to strangers stuck in rain
As Mumbai battles constant rains and commuting chaos on the roads, a Mumbaikar was in for a shock when he was fined because he offered a lift to stranded people during heavy rains on Monday last week.
Nitin Nair, an executive with a financial consultancy firm in Navi Mumbai, took to Facebook to narrate his ordeal. Nair said he was fined near Airoli Circle as he offered a ride to three people looking for a lift, including a senior citizen. As soon as Nair started the vehicle, a traffic police officer stopped the vehicle and confiscated his driving licence, he alleged.
“The moment they got in and I started the car, one traffic police officer in a towing vehicle waylaid me and asked me to show him my license. At first, I thought that probably I stopped in a no parking area (Sic),” he wrote.
“The police officer then started to write a receipt and asked me to hand over my license to him. I asked him for the reason, to which he said ‘It is illegal to give a lift to unknown people’”.
The cop allegedly asked him to go to the police station to pay the fine and obtain his licence. However, next day when he went to the station, he was asked to go to the court as he was charged under section 66/192 of the Motor Vehicle Act which requires one to accept one's mistake in a court.
On Friday, four days after being served the challan, Nair went to the court where he accepted his mistake and after a lot of requests, he was fined Rs 1,500 instead of Rs 2,000 which is the maximum fine for the said offence.
The Motor Vehicle Act indeed makes it an offence to give a ride to strangers in a private vehicle. The section 66(1) states, “No owner of a motor vehicle shall use or permit the use of the vehicle as a transport vehicle in any public place whether or not such vehicle is actually carrying any passengers or goods save in accordance with the conditions of a permit granted or countersigned by a Regional or State Transport Authority or any prescribed authority authorising him the use of the vehicle in that place in the manner in which the vehicle is being used.”
A traffic police officer in a statement to Hindustan Times said the cop who fined Nair was following the law. The officers said that they don’t fine every motorist but only those whom they suspect may charge money from people in lieu of offering a ride, which is illegal.