Praveen Sood: It’s not a question of 100 Rupees, sir

Published : Bangalore Mirror

Any sale of a vehicle should be duly registered at the RTO office. Failing to do so is potentially dangerous for the original owner

Week after week, mails from well meaning citizens pour in saying how they received a traffic violation notice for a vehicle which they had already sold. Some threaten to sue, others make it a point to tell being a law-abiding citizen, how insulting it is. A few insist that they don’t mind paying 100 rupees but the police should be more responsible. The smart ones say that they sold the vehicle to so and so and that police should collect fines from them. A few helpless senior citizens request us to trace the person who is using their vehicle without transferring. Unfortunately, we can’t.

One must understand that mere physical delivery does not constitute the sale unless they transfer the ownership in the records of transport department (read RTO). Violation tickets will continue to haunt them since these are generated in real-time from RTO records. Consequences, however, may be much severe in case such a vehicle was to get involved in an accident, criminal or terrorist activity.

A large number of vehicle transactions take place without going through the official channels. People hand over the vehicle along with delivery note without bothering to go to RTO for ownership change. For the buyer, it means saving the cost and hassles of registration. It suits him more if he intends selling it off at a later stage. Then, why should one bother about jumping signal lights, riding on footpaths or entering one ways since notices will continue to go to the registered owners who have little chance of tracking the chain in case of multiple sales?

Sec 50 of Motor Vehicle Act says, “The transferor shall transfer the records at RTO within 14 days of transfer. In case transferor fails to do so, transferee shall report the matter to the RTO within thirty days of transfer.” It is in the interest of the seller to ensure that the records get transferred to the buyer and he is free from any future ordeal. Such measures initially can avoid major embarrassment and mental torture in future.

Though the used vehicle dealers are major culprits, reputed companies are not far behind. Company dealers float schemes like buyback of used vehicles but never tell the seller to whom they sold their old vehicle. Going by their reputation, the seller never suspects them till they receive the police or a police notice at their home. Then they start looking for the user of their vehicle which might have changed many hands, not all of them very clean.

Besides legal hassles, such faux pas can lead to avoidable embarrassment. Remember the recent accident where a car ran over morning walkers killing five on the spot. Police, as per the vehicle records, landed at an address which turned out to be the previous owner who had not bothered to get the records transferred. It is left to anyone’s imagination what an agitated crowd can do on such painful occasions.

Vehicles are used in most of the serious offences ranging from chain snatching to smuggling to terrorist activities. Be a responsible citizen in your own interest. After all, it is not merely a question of 100 rupees, sir! 

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