Police have not authority to suspend driving licence: HC

A couple of days later, she sent an e-mail to the police, requesting the return of her driving licence. She was informed that her driving licence had been suspended for 90 days….reports Asian Lite News

The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday reiterated that the police have no authority to suspend a driving licence.

Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya, while passing this order, directed the police to return a driving licence to petitioner Priyasha Bhattacharyya. In March 2020, Justice Debangsu Basak had passed a similar order.

On May 19, 2022, the petitioner was driving home to New Alipore from the South City Mall when her vehicle was intercepted by the traffic police. She was driving at a speed of 62.1 km/hr along a stretch with a speed limit of 30 km/hr. Her licence was seized by the police.

A couple of days later, she sent an e-mail to the police, requesting the return of her driving licence. She was informed that her driving licence had been suspended for 90 days.

Priyasha moved the high court through advocates Phiroze Edulji and Amrita Panja Moulick. Citing provisions under the Motor Vehicles Act and previous judgements, Edulji argued in court that the police can seize a licence but must hand it over to the motor vehicles department, which is the original issuer of the same. It is for this department to decide whether the licence has to be suspended or revoked.

Justice Bhattacharya upheld this argument and directed the police to return Priyasha’s licence within two weeks. However, she reminded the petitioner that she needs to behave more responsibly while driving and do nothing that endangers the well-being of others, whatever may be her urgency.

Red beacon

The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday extended the deadline for the West Bengal government to submit a list of people in the state who are entitled to use red beacons on their vehicles.

The state was supposed to submit the list to the division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj on Tuesday only, but was unable and and the division bench gave a fresh deadline of August 1.

The issue of misuse of red beacons was brought to the court’s notice early this year, after Trinamool Congress strongman and the party’s Birbhum district President, Anubrata Mandal was seen sporting a red beacon on his vehicles. BJP leader and advocate, Tarunjyoti Tiwari filed a petition questioning whether the district President of any party who does not hold any government post can really use a red beacon on his vehicle. Thereafter, the court asked the state government to submit a list of those people who are entitled to use red beacons on their vehicles.

Meanwhile, Mandal’s counsel has informed the court that his client has stopped using red beacons. Misuse of red beacons had been a headache for police for the last couple of years after several imposters, bogus bureaucrats and fake police officers were arrested after they duped common people by using red beacons on their vehicles.

Two types of red beacons are approved by the state government to be used on the vehicles for select persons. The first category is “red beacon with flashers” and the second is “red beacon without flashers”. However, both the categories are reserved for only those holding important government posts.

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