Caught With a Cop!


I was booked by a traffic cop yesterday. It was my mistake and I was booked only for that. But what happened in the space of 10 min makes it an interesting thing to mention here. Here is what happened.

I was travelling with my wife late yesterday evening, going to the market. We were in the middle of some interesting conversation and by mistake I jumped a signal. Blame it on the road, which was not much crowded at 9pm. But I realised it immediately after I jumped and I went back to the stop line. I also missed a traffic cop standing on the foot path waving towards me. Obviously he had to walk some distance (read few steps) to come and reprimand me. I thought he would just do that and leave. But no. He decided to book me for the offence I saved myself from committing.

Anyway, it was expected and approached him calmly. Unfortunately the original insurance and PUC copy of the vehicle was not with me. I remembered I had removed it and replaced with a photo copy during the servicing last month. And I had obviously forgot to put it back. Thats it! He got a point and explained me lot of  points, what they call ‘Kalam’. Overall the fine mounted at Rs. 1200. “Twelve hundred?” I was surprised. “What for? For being honest and going back to the line?” The cop obviously had lot of things to say. He was in a mood to talk, which was a clear indication that he wanted a bribe. I’d have paid the fine any day instead of  paying the bribe. But 1200 bucks were too much for my honesty. So negotiations was the only option.

It started at 600 and we closed the matter after I agreed to pay 200 bucks. While we were engaged in this intriguing debate on how much bribe should I pay, few other offenders jumped the signal. But even that point could not persuade him to let me go. I had lost the debate and also 200 of my hard earned money. But this looks like any other story, is it not? This frequently happens with almost every one of us. But what happened in the next five minutes makes it very interesting.

So I went back to vehicle feeling dejected and angry. Defeat was all over me. But I was not prepared to give up so easily. I drove up to him and said, “Can you wipe my vehicle?” He was both shocked and surprised. I again said, “I pay that much to my watchman to clean my vehicle and he wipes 30 times every month. Cant you do it once?” He was furious. He started hurling abuses at me and almost tried to grab me by my collar. I let him burst out first and then said, “Your anger can not hide or cover your inefficiency and ill attitude. Corruption can only get you what you just heard. Good Night!”

I had my revenge. But I dont know what he learnt from it. I guess he must have earned another 1000 bucks till now. Sigh!

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23 thoughts on “Caught With a Cop!

  1. You got lucky..
    One infocion at hinjewadi was slapped by a ladies cop when he told her that all traffic police care is bribe.. After slapping, she told him to do whatever he can and he couldnt do anything

    • He could have slapped back 😛

      By the way he could have copied her name and complained against her with CBI’s anti corruption bureau. They do act. I believe they do. But we dont try thinking they dont.

  2. …Umm, look don’t blame the cop. You bribed him. If you were innocent, you should have asked to call his boss.

    [PS: Kshitij said let’s settle in the USA after 3 years. Umm, what think you? ]

    • You will agree that it wouldn’t have yielded in any thing. He was willing to give me the slip for Rs. 1200 and had given me an option to go to the office and pay the fine. But I had no way to find out whether what he was levying on me was right or wrong and what was the exact nature of the fine. All he was writing was the names of the sections… and he blatantly asked me to pay 600 as a bribe to him. He asked for a bribe and I obliged. He had nothing to lose but I had. I only made him realise what he lost despite that… it was his self respect (which I dont know how many times he has sold). By the way that is the problem with our system. They punish the honest and the weak. The real offenders always escape.

      PS: I’m negative on US

  3. I agree with Mayur. I dont think he would mind to give a ticket. He can always find another person to compensate the loss of 200. Once i didnt had license and papers. I was caught in routine check up. Unfortunately I didnt had money. I asked him to keep my bike but he was not ready !! He explained me how cops handle bikes which can results in scratches. So finally i decided to search for ATM to get the money.

    Great thing…..after receiving money, that same guy gave me information about next check post. Quite helpful huh!!!

    • There can be different debates to this story. Whether I should have stopped or ran away, whether I should have paid the fine he was asking, whether I should not have obliged to his demand for bribe… but the whole point is which of my above actions would have stopped him from taking the bribe? The answer is neither. My dialogue angered him. But I’m sure he will not be perturbed. 🙂

      That is the saddest state.

  4. We must not stop once we cross the signal in India.
    because if we do , the same thing happens. You thought you were doing mistake and all this happened!
    They dont catch the people who steal cars and bikes because they just dont stop! they catch people like us.

    You have done the rite thing , I would not have stopped at the signal 🙂

    • dont articulate such things sandeep. understood its tough to deal with, but doing the wrong thing doesn’t solve the problem its just a wrong work around. how ever effective it be

  5. You did the right thing by saying that to the cop.

    Last time when I was caught by a cop, he directly demanded 200 Rupees. He refused to accept the money directly, instead asked me to put that money under a stone in his booth. You know what I did? I placed two 50 Rupee notes under that stone and came out. hah ahhaha…..I feel I should have placed a 20 Rupee note.

  6. see, everyone avoids fine and pays the bribe. So what’s is anything different you did? you were more importantly aware that you were committing something wrong ? you fight –> end up paying the bribe or you pay up bribe in first go – ends up in one thing – paying the bribe.

  7. I am deflecting from the topic a bit but my experience with bribe taking policemen has been funny. I have been caught by the cops 3-4 times for different reasons and I have never paid a fine or a bribe. The moment they read that my father is a Col. and through the vehicle’s papers learn that my grand father was a Lt.Gen., they always let me go.

    It happens everywhere. We were having our house reconstructed and the MCD, Water Works, Police etc departments came to the house to collect the bribe. On noticing the ranks, they just came, told the workers to do a good job otherwise they will ppubish them, shook hands, offered their services whenever needed and went away.

    • You think it was the first time for me? I have opted to pay fines in the past and in almost half the cases ended up paying higher bribe as the case went to the office. Okay I’ll tell you another instance. Once my vehicle was being towed away by the cops. I reached in time and some how rescued it. But the policeman took my license away and told to come and collect it from the office. After shuttling between three different offices for 2 hours, I finally found the right window to pay the fine, only to be told that I could collect my license only from the guy who took it away. I could not get the license that day. Next day the same guy offered to give it back to me for Rs. 200. I had no option to negotiate. I ended up paying the bribe ON the fine collection window despite having the willingness to pay the requisite fine.

      Beat That!

  8. I think I would have showed him the receipt of paying up the fine. If that would not work, I would have found another way out.

    I will tell you sometime, my father filed a case against xyz which was not giving out pensions as needed.. the case iss till going on.. and i am planning to continue it.i expect you infered what I want to say

    • Durga- it is difficult to decide when to give up. Most often than not, we give up early and the cops actually wait for it. It reminds me of another story to tell, a true story about me. But I’ll wait till December 26, 2010 to post it here. 🙂

  9. One thing i would like to say, if we think it happens only in india it is wrong. It happens everywhere. Frequency might be different. I guess nobody here supports to bribe but most of the time we offer it to save our precious time.

    I dont have license till date and i am driving for last ten years. Reason….I decided not to take help of agents and i never got learning license even. I tried hard to get it. Each time i use to hear different reason. Sometimes they asked for receipt, sometimes for reference number. Finally I gave up and never applied for any. Imagine if your license sent to RTO…you will waste good time of yours. Instead i will go for bribe to save my money, energy and time. Gov should improve over all process.

    I have paid a bribe to a guy who is sitting next to judge. He is called as ‘Bhau’ who allot hearing dates. One of my friend from nasik had his case in Nagpur court and he wanted future date. Price to extend dates :: 50 Rs…Priceless??

    • It is sad to hear this 😦
      And it is even more sad to witness it
      Man hopelessly lives on hope, wants every one else to improve when he himself is not willing to go extra mile to improve. I’m no different. Hmmm!

  10. Yes it is sad. But its not us who started it. It is there from mythological era till date. There is a very small difference between ‘niti’ and ‘aniti’. And i guess this our ‘Niyati’ :). Nobody can change it. The only thing we can do is…avoid it. If you are the one who is suffering, you always tend to find easiest way. Rather going for easy way and feeling guilty about it, just avoid it. Like i do….I keep track of check posts and avoid it by choosing different road 😉

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