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Do you know police cannot snatch your keys!

Updated: Jun 1, 2020

What! Your keys were snatched by traffic police personnel not once or twice but a lot of time. You must not be aware of the fact that they don't have the right or power to do the same, but of course, if you were breaking any rules or regulations they can ask you to pay fine.


The Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act, 2019 brought a lot of changes in the existing Act of 1988 to create deterrence in mind of the public to follow traffic rules strictly. But neither the Amendment nor the previous Act provided an arbitrary power to traffic police officers to snatch keys of one's vehicle. The reason for the same is that, so the innocent public do not get troubled by the officers in order to satisfy their pockets with a bribe.

According to an RTI filed by Advocate Pawal Parikh, it is said that taking out the keys of two or four-wheeler by police officers is completely wrong. No policemen irrespective of the rank have the power to do this.

Some points to be remembered whenever a person is stopped by police officials or traffic officers:

  1. You cannot be penalized by traffic police unless they have the Challan book with them.

  2. If you are stopped by traffic police, you must not abuse them and like a civil person stop the vehicle and show only your license if asked. Production of other documents at first instance is not required and secondly, it’s your choice to submit your license to them or not. Section 130 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 categorically states that the driver of a motor vehicle in any public place shall on demand by any police officer in uniform produce his license for examination. As you can see the law only says, “produce” and not hand over.

  3. You can be penalized for jumping a red light, improper and obstructive parking, driving without helmet, over speeding, smoking in the vehicle, not displaying number plate, driving without a license, a vehicle without registration, valid insurance or valid pollution under control certificate are all offenses under Motor Vehicles Act. The license can only be confiscated after providing a valid receipt to the offender.

  4. Never attempt to bribe traffic police. If they abuse you note their buckle number and name and you can complain about them to police.

  5. If the police officer is an officer of rank sub-inspector or above then you can settle the offense by paying the fine.

  6. In case if you are driving without license or permit, the police may detain your vehicle. Police may also detain your vehicle if it is not registered.

  7. Traffic police cannot tow your car as long as you are sitting in it. You have to vacate your vehicle before they can tow your car.


Rights are for the protection of people and with every Right, there is a correlative duty attached so that there is no misuse of the right by anyone. So if you are provided with protection that police cannot abuse you, you also have a duty to respect their job and do all that law asks you to do. When a right and a simultaneous duty go along, then only a civilized society grows.


Swati Tolambia is currently studying law at School of Law, Mody University, Laxmangarh, Sikar (Raj.)

You can contact them: https://www.linkedin.com/in/swati-tolambia-bb22401aa

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