Traffic violations are offences. If a driver of a an automobile violates a traffic Rule or Order he is liable to be prosecuted in the court of law. However most of the offences are compoundable (i.e. it can be compromised). The Police Officer who charges the money and issues the pink slip is actually the compounding officer and the payment you make is not the penalty but compounding fee. Now if we do not accept ourself as guilty, we can refuse to compound upon which the police officer shall have to send a complaint to the office of concerned magistrate who in turn shall summon us and conduct the trial into offence. However there is a practice prevailing that if we do not pay the compounding fee, the police officer retains our driving licence and sends it to concerned magistrate along with the complaint. It appears that deposit of driving licence is like a Surety Bond for appearance. I have tried to locate the source of power to ask for such Bond by way of driving licence but I could not find it in Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Would some one enlighten me with the source of such power?
© Sandeep Bhalla