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What you can do if your vehicle is towing away by the municipal authorities?

Sukesh, a resident of Gurgaon who had traveled to Delhi for shopping with his family members the last Sunday was unaware of the thing that his holiday will end up in a whimper that day. After 2-3 hours of brisk shopping when he came back and was in a joyous mood, however, all that was gone within seconds of time when he didn’t find his car at the place where he had left it.

Sukesh who was at his loss started repenting over the thing as to why he had not left it at the parking place specified by the Municipal authorities other than leaving it at another place.

After two or three hours of search, harried Sukesh preferred to lodge a complaint with the police station of Sarojini Nagar, however, after not finding the police of much help, he tracked a toll-free number of the ‘ Tow Away Wing ‘of Delhi police on his cell and only after 2-3 hours he could get back his car and that too with a little damage and only after paying a fine of Rs.1500 which he had saved from his shopping.

However, this is not the story of one Sukesh there are hundreds and thousands of others whose vehicles are whisked away and impounded by Municipal authorities each day for many reasons, and people knowingly or unknowingly become easy victims of the high-handedness of the authorities.

Municipal Corporation of Delhi has mandated certain rules and violating them makes you helpless before the law as even the police can’t come as a big help to you, rather doing so makes you liable to a hefty charge of fine which also ranges on hours of time.

Let us know in which case motor vehicles are whisked away and impounded.

If a vehicle remains unattended for 10 hours or more in a public place causing an impediment to the free flow of traffic, in that case, it will be removed by a towing service or wheel clamping (the practice of attaching a wheel clamp to a vehicle) may be authorized by a police officer in uniform.

What is the custody charge of an impounded vehicle?

As per rules of law, ‘ Custody Charges’ of vehicles in Delhi can be as much as 1500 per day which depends on the thing that which is a type of vehicle which has been impounded.

Role of state or regional authority

The necessity for Permits Section 66 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 provides for the necessity of obtaining a permit from the Regional or State Transport Authority or any prescribed authority authorizing the use of vehicle, including auto-rickshaws and taxies, in a place and in a manner in which the vehicle is to be used and also ensures that release should be unconditional

If a vehicle owner encounters a tower removing his or her vehicle but the truck is not yet on a public road, the owner can demand the immediate and unconditional release of the vehicle. However, this rule does not require the owner to provide a driver’s license.

Duties of Municipal Corporation of Delhi

Taking picture of the vehicle is mandatory for the police personnel before towing. It is mandatory for the police personnel to take a picture of the vehicle first before towing it away, however, doing so without taking pictures would be considered illegal. This will also curb the corruption problem.

Vehicle to be released after the fine has been paid

A vehicle storage facility may not refuse to release a vehicle in its possession to the owner of the vehicle or the owner’s agent after the person pays the applicable fees unless a law enforcement agency official gives his directions that the vehicle taken under the custody should not be released, or release of the vehicle has been prohibited by an order of the court.

Compensation for damages occurred in the course of towing the vehicle.

There is no such provision for compensation if any damage occurred to the vehicle in the course of towing it. When vehicles are towed it is because the person has broken the law.

How can you get your vehicle released?

There are two Enforcement Agencies in Delhi for Regulation, Monitoring, and Enforcing provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act . and Rules framed thereunder. To reclaim a vehicle, a vehicle will have the owner pay a fine of between 3000-5000 thousand which depends on two factors. One is the weight of the vehicle while the second one is the number of days it remains in MCD custody.

Vehicle owners can pay their traffic challan and get their vehicle released on the spot, given that they pay the towing charges usually charged if vehicles are towed away as well.

The traffic challan receipt, as well as the receipt of the towing charge, will be given to the vehicle owner if he/she wants to get his / her vehicle released on the spot but it will be subject to them agreeing to pay the amount or else the regular process of challan and towing away the vehicle will be followed.

By sending a message to the WhatsApp number of the Delhi Traffic Police and a vehicle owner receives a contact number to find out the whereabouts of his vehicle which is available on WhatsApp number 8750871493 (a helpline launched by the Delhi Traffic Police).

Apart from helping the people locate their towed away vehicles, it also helps to see the shortest route to reach it. If you do not plead guilty you may be asked by the court to submit ground/documents basis on which a vehicle owner can’t plead guilty. After hearing a vehicle owner and the challan officer, the court decides the case.

Is the MCD inspector authorized by law to tow away vehicles from the parking lot? If so, under which section of which act?

Yes, the MCD officials are authorized to remove articles encroaching on the public place under Sections 320, 321, and 322 of the DMC Act,1957.

Anjani Kumar
Anjani Kumar

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