The fake driving license carried by Bijay Kumar Yadav of Charpane - 6, Jhapa. Police investigated his license as he did not turn up for claiming it after it was seized for driving a motorbike without wearing a helmet. (Raju Adhikari/ Republica)
Traffic police blame Department of Transport Management, latter calls for investigations
JHAPA, Aug 28: A good driving practice and a fair knowledge of road traffic rules and regulations may not sometimes be enough to get driving license. You have to smoothly get through written and practical test as per the standard set by the government to become a license holder. However, things do not seem that tough in case of Jhapa. In the last few weeks, numbers of fake license holders have come under police net. And the number could actually grow as police doubt involvement of a huge racket behind the fake licenses that they have got hold of so far.
“The case of fake licenses is actually alarming. We are catching one after another fake license holders and we are investigating these cases thoroughly.” said Yam Khadka, spokesperson of Jhapa Traffic Police Office. The sub - inspector added that the cases being handled by police are just representative cases. “We suspect involvement of a huge racket in this and we are trying to unravel the whole network,” he added.
Road accidents which kill thousands of people in the country every year have become more regular in the last few days. Falling off of buses, jeeps and trucks from the highways seem to be casual incidents. Amid this, traffic police in Jhapa put the blame on the officials of the road department ‘for distributing fake license’.
“Without correcting things at the department, the flow of fake license cannot be stopped. And for that, the officials must be honest, deliver their duties honestly,” said a traffic police. “Driver’s negligence has been identified as the major cause of accident in most of the cases. Bringing them to discipline is not possible without strict regulations for issuing driving license,” he added.
The traffic police narrated a case of fake license of ‘Yam Kumar Mahat’ of Prithivinagar, Jhapa. In course of checking license last week, police turned suspicious of the credibility of the license just by viewing it. Upon investigation the license was found to be have been recorded in name of ‘Nathuni Prasad Shah’ in the document of the Department of Transport Management office, Jhapa. “The license was in name of Yam Kumar but in the record of the concerned office it was in the name of Nathuni Prasad of Ramnagar,” the traffic police said. The license number is 01 - 042136.
Among the controversial license cases is that of Shekhar Sharma of Mechinagar, Jhapa. The number of the license issued on 24 December, 2001 and the license number of Yam Bahadur Baraili of Mrigauliya, Morang who took it later, is same. Both licenses were found to be issued with the same number 01 - 067234.
Similarly, license carried by Bijay Kumar Yadav of Charpane - 6 was also found fake when they investigated it after Yadav did not turn up for claiming the license. Yadav was caught riding motorbike without wearing helmet and police had charged him for breaking traffic rules.
Police cites yet another case of fake license with the same number. “In this license, the person has been allowed to ride scooter and motorbike only. But another license with the same number allows the user to drive jeep, van, car, scooter, all,” said a traffic police.
Gajendra Rajbanshi of Rajgadh and Kamichan Rajbanshi of Chandragadi have license with the same number 01 - 082724. While Gajendra’s license is issued for riding two wheelers only, Kamichan’s license is issued for driving four wheelers also.
License with the same number, 02 - 70325, was also found possessed by Baburam Chaudhari of Sunsari and Sunil Mahato of Hawaldari.
In another case, license earlier issued in name of Nabin Acharya of Jhapa was found to be replaced with name of Jitendra Raj Dhami, later. According to Manoj Kumar Thakur, an official at the Department of Transport Management, Dhami was issued the license on 2, Feb 2016 while Acharya got the license with the same number on 9, Jan 2014.
According to the traffic police Yam Khadka, such cases are rampant. “There must be hundreds of many more such cases in the district. These are only some cases we have come across in a small span of time,” he said.
Police inspector Dhundiraj Giri stated that the cases of fake license generally come to fore when someone’s license is seized for some reason and the person do not turn up to reclaim it. “They do not come back knowing that the truth would be revealed and they would be trapped. This is our experience so far. There must be huge racket involved in selling fake license, we are investigating the cases in front of us to get to the root of this,” he said.
Fake use of government stamps, papers, documents and signatures are criminal offences. However, in lack of monitoring and stricter regulations, these seem to have been misused in issuing fake licenses. According to the police, fake license are issued with minimum charge of Rs 10,000. “That is what the license holders have told us,” said a traffic police.
Meanwhile, chief of Department of Transport Management Janardan Bhattarai expressed utter surprise over the scenario. “How can it happen? If such things are happening, police should take matters in hand and investigate it. If any officials from this department are involved in issuing fake licenses, they must be prosecuted,” he said.