That every government department is a hot bed of bribes is a known fact. In fact, facilitation money is come to be an accepted term to get any work done and not only people have come to live with it, but in some offices there are people who survive by acting as agents for the officials to collect their bribes.
It is against this background that Goa Chronicle.com had launched the Stop Giving Bribe initiative. In response to our appeal, a citizen of Margao whom we shall call Madganvkar to protect his identity and save him from further harassment, has sent us his experience with the Transport Department’s Margao office.
Madganvkar had purchased a new vehicle and his vehicle was registered on 1st June 2011 after it was inspected at the show room by the RTO officials and he had paid the prescribed fees.
As per the Motor Vehicle Act 1988, every owner of a vehicle has to register the vehicle with the notified agency and the authority in turn has to issue a registration certificate to the owner of the vehicle.
According to the Director of Transport, Government of Goa, it takes about three working days for the formalities to be completed and the owner of the vehicle be given the relevant documents like Registration Certificate, Fitness Certificate and Road Tax Booklet.
However, in the case of Madganvkar, the relevant documents have not yet been given to him even though his vehicle was registered on 1st June.
As soon as he had submitted his papers, Madganvkar was told by an agent to pay Rs. 500 to the official handling his papers so that he would get his documents the next day. However he rejected the offer. Apparently, the slab fixed for registering a new vehicle purchased in Goa is Rs. 500 while for vehicles purchased outside the State it is Rs. 200.
While earlier the officials at RTO Margao used to keep asking Madganvkar to come after two days, on 16th June when he visited the office, he was asked to present his vehicle once against for inspection.
Significantly, Section 44 of the Motor Vehicle Act provides for the inspection of the vehicle prior to its registration or renewal of registration and not after the registration is done.
Madganvkar’s papers are being handled by Motor Vehicle Inspector S S Kalal under the direct supervision of Assistant Director of Transport Guirish Dalvi.
Madganvkar had another experience to relate pertaining to issuance of Registration Certificates for two wheelers at the same office. The clerk who takes the print outs of the certificates does the work only after she is paid Rs. 200 otherwise the person is asked to come later on.
Madganvkar’s friend’s two wheeler was registered with the office on 17th May and she was not issued the RC Book till 16th June. It was issued only after she pleaded that she could not pay Rs. 200 but would pay only Rs. 100.
Once the RC Book was handed over, the clerk demanded the Rs. 100 and when Madganvkar’s friend said she did not have the money but would come with it the next day, she was abused by the clerk who even called her a beggar who did not deserve to own a two wheeler if she did not carry Rs. 100 with her.