stolen? …do read this!
By Maxwell Pereira
Jt. Commissioner of Police/Traffic, Delhi
saw 7434 motor vehicles stolen in Delhi. Only 1706 were recovered.
4337 have been stolen till 15th August this 2003. It is paradoxical
how callous and careless we get safeguarding our vehicles from
theft. A missing ten rupee note at home may invite wrath enough
to berate the domestic help and report it to the police. And yet
its common to see on most roads a car worth lakhs and lakhs of
rupees, left unattended and without adequate anti-theft features.
On an average more than twenty of these vehicles get stolen in
Delhi in a day.
it happens, a vehicle stolen is painful to all. At times traumatic!
A cause of concern also for the police. Stolen vehicles are often
used to commit crimes. A motor vehicle being very mobile, and
number plates and registration papers can easily be changed, tracking
and tracing becomes difficult and complicated. Consequently, the
vehicle's Engine number and its Chassis number are considered
crucial; manipulation of these identification features is not
are often distraught at the seemingly don't-care attitude of the
police to vehicle thefts reported. Especially when no particular
investigation activity in individual car theft case is seen, leading
to the belief that the police do not care. That's not really true.
MV thefts are a typical crime investigated by specialised units
like the Anti Auto-Theft Squads and Special Staffs, who go after
the criminal or the gang involved, tracking their modus operandi
and method of disposal - from which end, more often than not,
the vehicle is finally recovered and then linked to the criminal
and to the owner. For all of which, it is necessary that relevant
information about the vehicle gets into the data bank maintained
for the purpose, at the earliest.
stolen vehicle when located or recovered becomes case property
and a subject matter of Court proceedings. In such a case, the
Court of jurisdiction can release the vehicle to its registered
owner on Superdari. Superdari denotes that the owner to whom the
vehicle has been released is free to use it, subject to an undertaking
to produce the vehicle if and when needed for investigation or
for production before the court. A request for Superdari is procedural
and no lawyer is required to plead for this. Information regarding
recovery of the vehicle needs to be intimated by the vehicle owner
to the Insurance Company; which in turn is to depute its surveyor
to inspect the vehicle and assess the actual loss suffered.
aggrieved that have lost their vehicle are often in a hurry to
claim insurance and get on with it. The insurance companies however
are wary of this hurry, lest it may discourage proper investigation
into the theft and adequate efforts to recover the stolen property.
To strike a balance, a MV theft case is normally kept pending
investigation for a period of one month. If not traced during
this period, nor the culprits identified, the police do then provide
the complainant with an 'untraced' report to enable him to process
his insurance claim with the company.
time to time, the Police arrest auto-lifters and recover stolen
vehicles in numbers. The process involved takes time and if the
case has in the meantime been sent as 'untraced', the investigation
is re-opened and the recovered vehicle is restored either to the
original owner, or to the Insurance Company (if the owner has
already taken his claim). At times there is procrastination when
Insurance Companies do not deem it worth their while to collect
a totally damaged 'recovered' vehicle, resulting in sore sights
of piled up junk in police station yards. The police are then
forced to auction such lot adopting the laid down procedure for
its ongoing effort to reach out, the police management has recently
circulated instructions to police stations to educate aggrieved
vehicle owners with certain useful tips and 'do's and 'don'ts.
Some of them are listed here:
case of a vehicle theft, do not lose time in informing the Police
Control Room (PCR) by dialling 100 and the Police Station concerned,
furnishing all details - the vehicle's model, make, colour and
prominent features if any. At the earliest, furnish the engine
and chassis number too. Obtain a copy of the FIR without fail
and intimate the insurance company. Inform the RTO concerned by
registered-AD letter stating that your vehicle is stolen and requesting
that no 'No Objection Certificate' be issued for any name/ownership
transfer. Retain the keys of the vehicle and all other documents
including its Registration Certificate.
the event of non-recovery yet, any time after expiry of 30 days
seek and obtain the 'untraced' report from the SHO to facilitate
processing of Insurance claim. On settlement of claim, inform
the concerned police station by registered post that the claim
is settled. If and when the vehicle is recovered, intimate this
information to the insurance company concerned. And transfer the
R.C. of the vehicle in favour of the insurance company. Submit
also a letter of indemnity and subrogation on appropriate value
application for return of the vehicle can be filed immediately
after the stolen vehicle is recovered. The Magistrate passes appropriate
orders by taking appropriate bond and guarantee as well as security
for the return of the stolen vehicle. This can be done at any
point in time after the vehicle's recovered.
stations are under instructions to get these suggestions printed
in Hindi and in English and distribute them to MV-theft victims
along with the copy of the FIR. These will be on display on the
PS notice board… and the assistance of the RWAs and Market
Associations is being sought to popularise these.
author can be reached at http://planetindia.net/maxwell
or his email: firstname.lastname@example.org)900word:
25.08.2003: Copy Right © Maxwell Pereira: 3725 Sec-23, Gurgaon-122002.
You can interact with the author at http://
www.maxwellperira.com and email@example.com
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