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The High Court also reprimanded the police authorities for not following the due process established by law in seizing the driver's licence.
The Calcutta High Court recently held that a person is not obliged to hand over his driving licence on demand to a a police officer who is not in his uniform, in view of Section 130 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. (Suryaneel Das v. State of West Bengal & Ors)
The Court was dealing with a writ petition filed by Suryaneel Das (petitioner) alleging that he was intimidated and threatened by two men dressed in civilian clothes, who seized his driving licence, without the issuance of any temporary authorisation slip.
The petitioner told that Court that while he was talking on the phone, two men came up to him, asked him to disconnect the phone and step out of the car in order to answer some queries.
The men seized his driver's licence, all the while refusing to show any valid ID proofs. On the petitioner's insistence, they gave him a compound slip after the licence was seized. However, this slip did not disclose the identity of the impounding officers either.