Cops warn errant motorists
Mysore/Mysore: The Municipal traffic police ask offending motorists, who have received e-challans for traffic violations, to pay the fine within a stipulated time or to be present at Lok Adalat and hire a lawyer to settle the matter.
If the unpaid fine is not paid within the specified time, motorists will receive an SMS sent by the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) and this will be taken as a court notice. The SMS is actually a pre-litigation notice asking offenders to appear before the Lok Adalat.
Those who fail to appear before the Lok Adalat on the said date and pay their dues will face prosecution in ordinary court and may have to pay a higher fine. Motorists receive an SMS which contains a link, from which the notice can be downloaded and paid for.
Here is the SMS format
AD-LOKADL: This is a Lok Adalat notice issued by the District Legal Services Authority, Mysore http://website link, vehicle registration number = KA-09-XXXX. You are called upon to pay the fine amount of Rs. 1,000 for the traffic violation against Vehicle Reg. No: KA-09-XXXX. The fine should be filed via online or offline mode as mentioned in the notice to avoid any legal action from DLSA and Mysore City Police.
Once the user clicks on the website link provided in the SMS, it takes him to a webpage where the entire notice is displayed asking the offender to pay the amount of the fine.
The provision to display the webpage in both English and Kannada has been made so that the offender can understand the notice properly.
The notice reads: “If the fine is paid immediately via e-challans via the KarnatakaOne webpage, or by visiting the nearest police station as soon as possible (all payment methods described) or alternatively your case will be brought before the National Lok Adalat will be held on 25-Jun-2022.
Notably, if the case is listed for hearing in the Lok Adalat, the offender must hire a lawyer who will plead before the judges and the police will present the photos and videos of the recorded violation. Additionally, all previous violations committed on the roads with that particular vehicle will be listed and the offender will have to pay the fine for all violations. Even attorney’s fees have to be paid.
The traffic police have taken this route to recover crores of rupees awaiting fines for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021. Despite all efforts, offenders continue to roam freely without paying the fines. As such, the police coordinated with the DLSA to implement this new SMS system.
In many cases, even before the notice is sent to a particular offender, the text message reaches their cell phone, asking them to pay. In fact, many vehicle owners paid, fearing they would have to be there before the Lok Adalat.
“So far this is the best way to recover the amount of the pending unpaid fine. Previously we sent the e-challans by post but on several occasions the owners would have changed their address or even put false license plates which resulted in a build up of the fine amount. Now we are bringing these defaulters to a Lok Adalat. We started this initiative last month and it is a coordinated effort by the Department of police and DLSA to bring defaulters before a Lok Adalat. — MS Geetha Prasanna, DCP, Crime and Trafficking