RTO approaches higher-ups for stern rules on driving licence for foreigners

LicenceSteps have been initiated to appoint an officer who will be incharge of documents at the RTO. (Express Photo)

The Regional Transport Office (RTO), Pune, has decided to seek directions from the Maharashtra Transport Commissionerate on making strict rules for foreigners applying for driving licences. The move comes after hearing on the appeal filed by The Indian Express under the RTI Act. Also steps have been taken to appoint an officer who would be in charge of document keeping at the RTO.

Deputy RTO, Anil Valiv, who is the appellate authority, Monday ordered its public information officer Vinod Sagare to write to the Maharashtra Transport Commissionerate about the need for strict rules for foreigners applying for driving licences and seek their directions.

Valiv also asked Sagare to issue orders to the concerned department for searching the documents submitted by Pakistan national Mahesh Bhoolchand Tekwani, who procured a driving licence from Pune RTO in August 2011, while his movements were allegedly restricted to Thane.

An application filed by The Indian Express under RTI had revealed that Tekwani's documents had gone missing in the godown of RTO, Pune. As per the Maharashtra Public Documents Act, 2005, every government establishment should have a "documents officer" who would be responsible for preserving and disposing official documents. If a document is lost before the specified time period, an offence may be registered against the officer responsible for it. Valiv asked Sagare to write to the RTO authorities about the need for appointment of "document officer" as per this act. Details related to the driving licences issued by Pune RTO between August 1 and August 10, 2011 were sought under the RTI Act. Records on RTO's computer system revealed that Tekwani's licence was issued on August 2, 2011,on the address Gera Garden, Fl.No.4, Koregaon Park. But, when asked for the photocopies of the documents submitted by Tekwani, the RTO staff launched searches in a godown. When the RTO failed to trace, The Indian Express filed an RTI appeal.

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