Rape convict in MP loses driving licence

RA

In A possible first in India, a Gwalior transport officer has cancelled the driving licence of a man convicted of raping a schoolgirl after abducting her in his vehicle in April 2012.

The state transport department said from now on licences of people accused of rape using a motor vehicle would be suspended as soon as a chargesheet is filed, and cancelled permanently upon conviction. Licences could be cancelled even for old convictions, the department said.

Gwalior RTO M P Singh used powers under Section 19(1) of the Motor Vehicles Act on Friday to revoke the licence of Vishwambhar Gurjar who abducted a schoolgirl in his Bolero before raping and dumping her. Two others convicted with him, Rakesh Singh and Niranjan Singh, don't have licences, and will never get one in Madhya Pradesh because their details and photos have been blacklisted.

Section 19(1) allows for refusing or revoking the licence of, among others, anyone who has used a motor vehicle in a cognizable offence.

The rape had shaken Gwalior and, pushed by public anger, police had arrested all three men within 24 hours.

On Thursday, a large crowd gathered at the court of Additional Sessions Judge Ajit Singh, who late evening sentenced the men to 14 years rigorous imprisonment.

Transport Commissioner Sanjay Choudhary told The Sunday Express that the transport authority would also cancel licences of those convicted in the past for rape if the police sent them details.

RTO Singh said it was possible to also invoke the provision in cases other than those in which a motor vehicle had been used, if the police gave an adverse report.

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