Hyderabad: Lack of clarity on the ownership and registration status of an Innova car used in the gangrape of a 17-year-old in Hyderabad has put the spotlight on the lack of enforcement on vehicles that ply across the state with temporary registration numbers even after the deadline elapses.
The Innova car used in the May 28 crime was bought in September 2019, but not registered by the buyer. Sources said that the vehicle was being used by a TRS leader, appointed to a statutory body of a minority community.
An official with the Telangana State Road Transport Authority (RTA), which governs registration and enforcement of registry rules, said thousands of unregistered vehicles ply on Telangana roads without registration for more than a year, and sometimes, even longer.
J. Pandurang Naik, the district transport officer and joint transport commissioner, said that all new vehicles are provided to buyers with a temporary registration number and it is the responsibility of the buyer to get it registered within 30 days.
Naik said that any vehicle that plies on a temporary registration number, after 30 days, is not eligible for insurance claims.
However, a third RTA official said that those who ignore registering the vehicles are barely penalised for the delays, with a penalty of Rs 25 applicable for every three months that registration is delayed. Although RTA officials are supposed to keep track of such vehicles, it is common practice to leave the task up to the traffic police.
A city police official said that a penalty of Rs 1,000 or Rs 2,000 — depending on the number of times the offence has been recorded — is usually levied on vehicle owners.
Officials said that although vehicles meant for government use are not to be ‘misused’ by family members, it is commonplace. However, what constitutes ‘misuse’ has not been elaborated upon, a fourth official said.
The official said that since there are no fines for such ‘misuse’, the practice continues....