Deepu Divakar clearly didn’t expect a parking violation ticket when he went to see off a relative at the Trivandrum railway station last Wednesday morning. So, he was surprised when he was slapped with one when there was no ‘No Parking’ board on sight. Also, he found that the CRPF bus hadn’t got an offensive parking sticker on it.
Deepu who parked at Power House road near the back entrance of the railway station questioned the police official on the rationality of the ticket. Deepu asked the sub-inspector, who was standing beside, what offence he had committed. When the sub-inspector said it was a no-parking area, Deepu pointed out that a no-parking board was not displayed there to which the inspector said that there’s no ‘Parking’ board on the street either. When he asked as to what action was being taken against the CRPF bus parked just behind his car, the policeman simply argued that the matter will be taken up with CRPF authorities and pasted an ‘offensive parking’ sticker on the bus.
“I had parked my vehicle from 9.20 to 9.45 am. And when I asked what offence I had committed, he said he was doing his duty as instructed by his superiors and he had been told to get any vehicles parked there removed. As crowd gathered and I refused to move my vehicle, they bought in a crane to tow away my car. The car was taken to a junction, while I was being penalised for obstructive parking. They also charged me INR 600 as towing charges whereas the towing damaged the bonnet of my car, ruined the condenser and the chassis, says Deepu.”
Deepu, a businessman has incurred damages worth INR 25,000 on his brand new car.
The videos and pictures related to the incident have become viral and a topic of a heated discussion on social media. The police slapped a case against him under section 283 of IPC for ‘danger or obstruction in public way or line of navigation’ and he was arrested and release on bail of two persons. Deepu has decided to file a petition and forward it to the CM.
According to VS Syamlal, noted journalist and public interpreter, the whole issue blew out of proportion when Deepu asked the police official as to what offence he had committed. This seemed to have rubbed the officer’s ego in a wrong way and led him to send a message on the wireless to his fellow officials saying that a person who has committed a parking violation is challenging me and not taking his vehicle away.
“Giving the ticket was just routine. The officer only acted according to the law. If you have committed a parking offence, you need to pay the fine. This person could also have paid the fine later and taken up it as a case in the court if he was opposed to the fine. This was a routine procedure and the argument of a ‘no parking’ board according to me is a childish argument. According to the rules, there’s need for a ‘no parking’ board only at the ends and mid point of the road. Just because this person didn’t see it, doesn’t justify his argument. One needs to understand that the CRPF vehicle was on duty and for use of para military officials. However, the CRPF vehicle too, was penalised. The argument makes no sense,” says Dr. Arul R. B. Krishna IPS Deputy Commissioner of Police, Law & Order, Traffic.
Usually while looking for a parking spot, one is used to looking out for the ’no parking’ board. But now, when police officials emphasise, that there needs to be a ‘parking’ board present, this certainly confuses commoners.
This incident also highlights the need for adopting new and safe methods for towing cars. As of now our Police force uses the same towing method for cars/vehicles irrespective of whether or not the vehicle has met with an accident. This often results in damages to the vehicle.