Parliamentary panel wants Traffic Police to be under Delhi government

In the wake of last month’s brutal gangrape of a student in a moving bus, a Parliamentary Committee is in favour of bringing Delhi Traffic Police under the city government as it feels criminals take advantage of multiplicity of authorities.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, headed by CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, discussed this and other aspects today at a meeting which was attended by Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar, Delhi Transport Commissioner and Secretary of Central Road Transport and Highways Ministry and others.

‘A holistic policy needs to be put into place. We are going to suggest that Traffic Police must come under Delhi government. Our report is likely to be presented to Parliament in the Budget Session,’ a member of the committee said.

The committee is currently focusing on road safety issues across the country in the backdrop of the 16 December gangrape. The committee expressed concern that criminals get away taking advantage of the duality and multiplicity of the system, which is peculiar in case of Delhi where control over police is directly with the central government, the member said.

‘In Delhi’s specific case, there is a very peculiar situation where the Delhi Transport Commissioner and the Delhi Transport Department lay down the rules and regulations for vehicular traffic movement but the enforcement authority of these rules is traffic police which comes under Ministry of Home Affairs.

‘Taking advantage of this duality, the enforcement authority -- Traffic Police -- says it is Delhi administration’s job and Delhi administration says that the enforcement is police’s job. Between the two, criminals get away,’ the member said.

In the paradoxical situation, the committee had summoned Police Commissioner, Delhi Transport Commissioner, Delhi Traffic Police chief, Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and National Informatics Centre officials to discuss the issues.

‘One of the most important problems that we have come across is the inter-relationship between the central and the state governments. You find multiplicity of authority,’ the member said.

The committee would end the process of examining the issue before 21 February, when the Budget session of Parliament is expected to begin, the member added. Another major suggestion of the committee would be that every single automobile producer in the country must be mandated by law to open a driving instruction school as most of the violations are due to lack of trained drivers.

Earlier, two parliamentary panels on Home and Women Empowerment had also looked into the gangrape issue had summoned the Commissioner of Police.
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