Observing that the security of traffic police is in peril, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has ordered the Maharashtra government to spell out how it proposes to protect police officials manning traffic from attack by citizens violating the norms.
The HC has also said the state must expedite the trial in such road rage incidents, wherein motorists assault traffic police for being stopped from violating the traffic rules.
A bench of Justices Ravi Deshpande and Pushpa Ganediwala was dealing with a PIL highlighting the nuisance of traffic violators and the conduct of police constables on road.
Notably, the bench had last week observed that the traffic cops are mostly seen busy with their mobile phones, while on duty. The bench had accordingly ordered the authorities to take strict action against such cops.
On Thursday, when the matter was called up for hearing, the bench noted that the instances of traffic violation were on a rise.
"The instances of violating traffic rules and jumping of signals are on a rise. In response to various orders passed by this Court, the traffic constables on the signals are trying to catch hold of such violators," the judges noted in their orders.
"Consequently, the instances of slapping, beating or attacking the traffic constables while they regulate or control the traffic are also on rise. The protectors of the public at large cannot be attacked or treated in this fashion," Justice Deshpande observed
The judges further said that citizens cannot take law in their own hands and attack law enforcing officers. "The security of traffic constables is in peril. We cannot tolerate the violators taking law in their own hands and interfering with the discharge of official duties of public servants," Justice Deshpande remarked.
The bench accordingly ordered the authorities to place on record the total number of such instances of assault on traffic cops by motorists in last one year.
"We want all such violators interfering in the discharge of official duties to be tried expeditiously on priority. We further also want authorities to come forward with the steps they propose to take to protect the traffic constables from such instances," the bench ordered, while posting the matter for further hearing on October 20.