Kolkata High Court
Kolkata High Court
Litigation News

Police officer cannot seize driving licence unless in uniform: Calcutta High Court [Read Judgment]

The High Court also reprimanded the police authorities for not following the due process established by law in seizing the driver's licence.

Aishwarya Iyer

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 duty to produce a licence and certificate of registration only arises under Section 130 of the 1988 Act, Sub-section (1) of which provides that the driver of a motor vehicle in any public place shall on demand by any police officer in uniform produce his licence for examination."
Calcutta High Court

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.

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