An RTI query has resulted in a startling revelation indicative of the massive scam and nasty state of affairs in the Nagpur Regional Transport Office. The query has reportedly put the functioning of Regional Traffic Officer Shelke under scanner.
Javed Khan Chhote Khan Pathan, General Secretary of Minority Cell of MPCC (Nagpur City and District), who sought the query from RTO under the RTI, said the reply that came out points fingers towards RTO Shelke and other bosses including some of the lower rung employees that helped trigger the massive scam.
He said, “The RTO authorities have been resorting to a new modus operandi to reap undue windfalls by erasing the data of vehicles stored in the computers. This affected the old taxes recovery in whopping proportion. A staggering data of 68,000 transport vehicles, which contained full details of the vehicles, have been wiped out by the RTO authorities in a well-planned conspiracy. The data of transport vehicles with the registration series MH-31 W, CQ, AP, CB, DS and AC has been completely erased in connivance with the owners. Now, the RTO authorities have not been recovering the old taxes, instead, only the new taxes are being recovered afresh from the owners of the transport vehicles, denting the Maharashtra Government exchequer in mammoth proportions.”
Pathan alleged, “On the other hand, the same RTO authorities have been recovering Rs 20,000 each from poor auto owners as fines by forcibly seizing their autos illegally over petty issues. The 16-year old autos are being destroyed terming it as dangerous for commuting. I had formally complained in writing to the Maharashtra Chief Minister, Governor, Transport Minister, Transport Department Secretary, and Transport Commissioner Morey. But till date, no action has been taken against any RTO authority.”
Illegal recovery of fines
The RTI reply has further revealed that Shelke has unleashed an illegal recovery of fines and forcing the vehicle owners shell out an unauthorized, out of book heavy fines.
The information said that the RTO Shelke held a clandestine meeting of the Committee and prepared a list of fines to be recovered from the vehicle owners. Accordingly, Shelke has gone on a rampage in recovering the unauthorized and illegal fines and punishing the vehicle owners without any fault.
The RTI information further revealed, while the vehicle owners had and have been ready to pay the fines as Compounding Fee (CF) , the RTO has been found forcing them to pay Departmental Action (DA) fines, which is totally illegal and unauthorized. And if the vehicle owners refuse to pay the DA fines, the RTO detains the vehicles and thus leaving no choice for them but to pay the hefty DA fines. According to laid down rules, the DA fines could not be more than the CF fines. However, the RTO Shelke has been violating the rules with impunity and resorting to torture of the vehicle owners, said Javed Khan Chhote Khan Pathan.
“Compounding Fee is a law. But the Government cannot recover the CF fines in the name of DA and if the CF fines are recovered under DA, the fines go double and it is an injustice to the vehicle owners. In simple words: Two punishments for a single offence. And this loot is going on since February 2, 2013.
Javed Khan has demanded a detailed investigation into the episode by a high raking official.
However, the most shockingly, the RTO Shelke, who has been allegedly charged with corrupt practices, he has been handed over the charge of Bhandara, Gondia, Gadchiroli, Chandrapur, Wardha RTOs. The Transport Commissioner has faxed the handing over of the charge yesterday only.
… Rajeev Kushwaha