The Telegraph
Thursday , December 27 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cop blind eye to cars with window film

Police have slapped cases on less than one per cent of cars with dark film on windows, eight months after the Supreme Court banned their use.

The 248 cases against car owners for the violation have all been started in the past week and a half, underscoring Lalbazar’s late reaction to the apex court order.

According to an estimate by the traffic police, about 350,000 cars ply in the city proper and a quarter of them have dark films pasted on the windows.

“Slapping fines for using dark film on windows was never a priority for the officers, who remain busy maintaining traffic,” said a senior city traffic cop.

While banning the film on April 27, the Supreme Court had said: “Alarming rise in heinous crimes like kidnapping, sexual assault on women and dacoity have impinged upon the right to life and the right to live in a safe environment which are within the contours of Article 21 of the Constitution of India. One of the contributory factors to such increase is use of black films on windows/windshields of four-wheeled vehicles.”

The special bench of the apex court added: “For the reasons afore-stated, we prohibit the use of black films of any VLT (visual light transmission) percentage or any other material upon the safety glasses, windscreens (front and rear) and side glasses of all vehicles throughout the country.”

Two-and-a-half months after this order came into effect on May 4, Calcutta Traffic Police had issued a directive to implement the order.

“Few more orders were issued by Lalbazar, the last one being very specific on which particular section of law should be used for prosecution,” said deputy police commissioner (traffic) Dilip Adak. “There has been some delay. We hope the crackdown would pick up within the next few days.”

In the last order (dated November 27), the legal provisions under which vehicle owners can be punished for using dark film was spelt out. The fine would not be less than Rs 2,000 and can go up to Rs 5,000.

Flight disruption

A Jet Airways flight to Patna was cancelled and Air India flights to Silchar, Port Blair and Aizwal were delayed on Wednesday because of poor visibility at the destination cities. Jet Airways flights to Bengaluru, Silchar and Imphal were delayed. A SpiceJet flight to Agartala was also delayed.