KOZHIKODE: Transport Commissioner Tomin J Thachankary admitted that the vehicle dealers and officials in the Motor Vehicles Department have formed an illegal nexus, and added that the department has initiated serious steps to curb such malpractices.
An inquiry with a cross section of the staff at the dealerships across the state revealed that the major share of money had gone as “kickbacks” to the MVD officials. But a senior MVD officer said the dealers were collecting this illegal amount to meet their operational expenses. “Collecting additional amount as delivery or handling charges is a fraud activity of the vehicle dealers,” said Kozhikode RTO K Premanandan.
However, the proforma invoices availed from four two-wheeler dealers in Kozhikode had mentioned the excess amount under the registration and handling category.
Thachankary said the department has taken serious note of this practice.
“Vehicle dealers should not charge additional amount from customers for registration and handling. Collecting this kind of charges is an offence under the Consumer Protection Act,” he said.
Thachankary said action has been initiated against some dealers after receiving complaints. Consumer Federation of Kerala Secretary Karunakaran Nair said the department should take punitive action against those involved in this illegal practice.