Calcutta HC held that police officer donot have right to seize driving license of any citizen


Panasam Akshara | Calcutta HC | JulY 20, 2022

Case-Priyasha Bhattacharya v. State of West Bengal.

A bench of Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya says,only the respective licencing authority has powers to issue and suspend the driving licence.In the order court passed on July 19,"The provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act,1988 show that only holding or obtaining a driving licence or revoke it.Licensing authority has been defined in Sec-2(20).Sec-206 refers powers of the authority and limits the powers of police officer to impound a document".The State Government has relied on notification on 23 November,2016 that empowers Deputy Commissioner of police (traffic) and superintendent of police of Districts to act in terms of sec-19 for disqualifying drivers or revoking licence to ensure control of traffic under Chapter Vlll of the Act.Bench noted that this notification refers to sec-19,there was no evidence to suggest relevant provisions in West Bengal Vehicles Rules,1989 were amended to reflect powers given to police.The Judge opinioned that in its view the later notification issued by State Transport Department cannot override the provisions of parent Act.Furthermore,the notification under a provision of any statute must be in aid of and in sync with statutory scheme.Justice said the notification in the present case amounts to confusion of powers of authority mentioned in the Act.The court seized plea filed by petitioner challenging suspension of her licence by ACP, Kolkata on 20 May,2022 for driving at a speed of 60km per hour on a road which permitted speed of 30km per hour.As a conclusion court said that the police doesn't have powers to suspend licence of a person it quashed the orders passed ACO who suspended the licence.But the Judge denied to accept the reason for overspeed by women saying that she violated the rules to check on her 9month old baby girl who was alone at home and unwell.

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