Absence of adequate cops at airports encourage touting: Court

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New Delhi, Nov 25: Effective policing and lack of adequate number of police personnel at the airport here encourage touts and illegal activities, bringing a bad name to the country, a Delhi court has said while holding an auto driver guilty of alluring passengers outside the arrival hall.

Metropolitan Magistrate Pankaj Sharma held Jitender Kumar guilty under the 2010 Delhi Prevention of Touting and Malpractices against Tourists Act, observing that it was common that outside the airport’s arrival hall, “unscrupulous” auto and cab drivers lure passengers with promises of cheap hotels and usually misbehave with them.

“The absence of adequate police officials outside arrival hall gives encouragement to these unlawful activities by these law breakers…. These illegal activities also show lack of effective policing.

“In these circumstances, the role of the policemen assumes significance and stern and preventive action is required for stopping these illegal activities in sophisticated place like airport… Such incidents diminish reputation and also bring bad name to our country,” the magistrate said.

The court, however, did not sentence Jitender to jail but imposed a fine of Rs 2,500 on him, considering that he was poor and had shown remorse for his act.

Accepting the testimonies of police officials in the case, the court said “a policeman is as competent a witness as any other person and where testimony of policeman is trustworthy” and his plausible explanation can be relied upon.

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