Why are Salman, Aaditya Thackeray on Mumbai Police's offenders' list?
Some of the so-called celebrities and known personalities, who earn in crores, have shown stinginess in not paying fines for breaking traffic rules. Those who feature on the Mumbai traffic police's list of offenders are actor Salman Khan (unsurprisingly?), MNS founder Raj Thackeray, his nephew and Yuva Sena president Aaditya Thackeray and senior BJP leader Diwakar Raote, who's also the state transport minister, ironically.
All of them feigned ignorance of the same, with Salman and Aaditya's staff claiming they didn't receive alerts. BMC Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar shrugged off by saying it's not his responsibility to check e-challans, it's his driver's. Shiv Sena workers, meanwhile, defended Raote, saying he's a "stickler for rules. The violation may have been committed by the driver when Raote saheb wasn't present in the car."
Now breaking down the fine amount each owed the traffic department: Salman's car with number MH 02 BY 2727 is registered in his brother Arbaaz Khan's film production company's name. That car has been booked for crossing the speed limit four times between January and July, with May getting maximum e-challans. With Rs. 1,000 for single violation, Salman owes Rs. 4,000 to the department.
Popular among the youth, Aaditya Thackeray (MH 02 CB 1234) owes Rs. 6,200 for six speeding violations and for not stopping at zebra crossing. What's funny is the fines are pending since 2016. Others like his uncle Raj (MH 46 J 9) and comedian Kapil Sharma (MH 04 Fz 770), have Rs. 1000 (for using fancy number plate) and 2,000 as pending fines, respectively.
When it comes to Raote, it was his son Umesh who was responsible for the fine. In April this year, the Mercedes (C class, registration number MH 06 BE 4433) was issued an e-challan for Rs. 1,000 (crossing speed limit). This fine too remains unpaid.
RTI query revealed the traffic department has issued over 53L e-challans amounting to Rs. 172.44cr in fines from October'16-June'18. Of this, only 30% has been resolved. Among those who didn't pay up, some say they've been wrongly fined and weren't even present at the spot, when violation happened. But in case of VVIPs, traffic department made no mistake, as most use special registration number.
Meanwhile, senior police officials said people are misusing the e-challan system, which was introduced for convenience of both the parties. Despite repeated insistence, people don't update their mobile numbers and neither do they register their vehicles on Mumbai Traffic Police website. Moreover, "People aren't paying fines because there is an option to pay online and nobody is actually forcing them to do so."