Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Worst weekend ever!

Saturday(24/1/09) last week was one of the worst days in the recent past! As usual i woke up around 5.30 in the morning. Since i had donated blood on Friday, i was thinking of skipping gym that day. I was browsing and chatting with my friends for sometime. After i got really bored, i started to gym by 8.00 am. I reached there by 8.10am . I went inside and had just signed the register, the watchman came rushing telling there has been an accident. An auto driver, who tried to avoid a crossing cycle, accidentally/unconsciously throttled in to the gym parking area. More than 4 bikes and a car were damaged. My bike being the first one to be hit, was lying in a bad shape.

This being the first major accident to my bike, i was sure i could get a decent claim from the insurance and did not loose my cool. Me and my friend lifted the bike to see the damage. The petrol tank and the doom were badly damaged. Tail light area has been totally wiped off. And the handle bar was bent. Not sure about the fork.

After seeing the condition of the bike, we went to see the other bikes. Other bikes did not suffer the same fate. All of them lost their tail lamps though. But the car suffered a major damage. The left side of the bumper was badly damaged.

Why did the auto driver speed?

As per his statement, he was late to pickup school children. He wasn't speeding much, but the cycle fellow who crossed the road in the wrong time confused him. He tried to avoid the cycle(which he did not!), he changed the lane and throttled his way through the parked vehicles.

Session with Police

We were left with no option but to lodge a police complaint. The Gym officials filed a complaint and the police officials came after 20 minutes to the spot. They did their usual inquiry with the concern people and asked us to come to the station to file a written complaint with the required documents(RC book, Insurance and License) and their photo copies.

We, with the documents, went to the police station by 10.00 am. The police station was indescribable. It was worse than it looked in the Tamil movies. It was no better than any-other government office, with an exception of jail cells with prisoners in it.

Sub Inspector registered a case and filed a FIR(First Information Report) by 10.45 am. FIR in two and a half hours is rapid fast in Indian terms! We were actually happy that we could get the FIR in such a short time frame. But the actual problem started only after the FIR is filed. The SI wanted photo copies of the FIR for each one of us so that he can personally seal and sign it. Before heading out to take the copies, he handed us another FIR report, of different accident and wanted photo copies of this document too! They always forget that they are government servants and make people their servants!

Grudgingly me along with my friend(Muthu, who accompanied me) went to the nearest shop(around half a mile away from the police station). We had a light breakfast while the copies were getting ready and headed back to the station.

Session in RTO

The head Constable now wanted us to be in the RTO office with our vehicles by 1pm so that the RT Officer would inspect the damages. We initially thought its a 10 minutes work(as claimed by the constable) and went there well in advance by 12.30pm. The Constable told he would be there before we reach the place but he was nowhere to be seen. He had given us his mobile number and we called him every 15 minutes to pressure him come to the Office. But the trick did not affect him even a bit. He reached the RTO by 2.30pm. We were already furious.

I went to him and asked what the hell took him this long....instead of answering me, he handed me a form and asked for 10 photo copies of the same. I was already furious after waiting this long for this man to show up and now he coolly asks for 10 copies of form for 3 of us! After giving him a cold stare, i grudgingly went to the nearest shop to take the photo copies. After bringing him the photo copies, he asked me to fill the form myself(it was suppose to be filled by the SI..not even by the constable). I filled the form for myself and the others who came along with me. He had a official government seal with him. He stamped the forms and signed it himself(again, suppose to be signed by the SI).

Now its our turn to wait for the RTO! We actually thought we were waiting for the RTO for him to inspect the damages. Only after waiting for an hour or so, the constable told we were waiting for a brake inspection. Why the hell do they need a brake inspection for a bike that's been in an accident when parked??!! The constable told its the procedure and we had no option but to wait for the punctual RTO to come and inspect the vehicles! By waiting in the RTO office, i mean, waiting in the road. We were not allowed to move away either, because, if the RTO comes while we were away, he will not give us a second chance that day. We will have to come again another day to get the clearance! By 3.45pm the car owner got really pissed and left the place after giving nice dose to the constable.

The RTO came by 4.00pm and started doing his job right away. His top priorities were the cars and there was a C-Class Benz and a Honda city parked for inspection. We meanwhile called the car owner and asked him to come right away. But for his bad luck, he came 10 minutes late and he was asked to come again today(27/01/09)!

He inspected my bike. It took less than 3 minutes for him to see the damages, collect the documents and check the brake. He test drives only cars. Bikes are not his interest. So we had to drive the bike and show him the brakes are fine! For a 3 minutes job, i had to wait for nearly 5 hours staring at the open road, shouting at the constable and waiting for this RTO.

Why did the constable wait along with us?

He wanted his share of bribe! He had earlier asked us to pay 200rs each for this work to be done. He already collected the money from the car owner prior to the RTO mess. Now hes due to collect the money from me and the other person. Unfortunately the other person(the Gym manager) had an outdated Insurance document. So he anyway had to pay a hefty fine of 1000rs to the RTO plus this bribe money!

In India, even if you have all your documents and with no fault of yours, you are forced to pay the bribe money for the officials to do their "job". The bribe is the motivation factor for the constable to wait along with us. I finally paid him 50 bucks for no fault of mine. He did not have mind to settle for no less than 100 bucks. He said he need to pay the RTO too. I asked him why the heck should i bother about someone wanting to bribe an irresponsible RTO. And told him i am giving him this 50 bucks compromising my principles. He was not happy at all and left cursing me.

Some positive effects in this day
  • If i had been a minute late, i could have been badly hurt by the speeding auto.
  • My insurance expires on 24/01/2009 midnight. Technically i am covered by my earlier insurance(though i had renewed it last week itself)
  • One big lesson learnt. You dont need an FIR for insurance claim less than 10000Rs.
  • Learnt another lesson on tackling such situations. Have enough dough. Have all the documents. Prepare to waste the entire day(and few more hours on the following days till you get the bike back). Finally loose your senses and be patient!
After the messy session in RTO, i went to the service station, filled the documents and left home along with my friend(Muthu), who stayed with me all the way through the grueling day! By the time i reached home, it was already 6.30pm, the whole day wasted!. It took me almost 10hrs to settle the things for no fault of mine and the auto driver, coolly left the police station in less than 2hrs after his relatives bailed him out!

Lesson learnt: If you are to be screwed, you get screwed what so ever!

4 comments:

saravanaraja said...

//Lesson learnt: If you are to be screwed, you get screwed what so ever! //

Amen!

Sathish Yadav said...

Bloody as hell... your story is too pathetic....

Fuck the inspector, raise your voice, act as if you are a top notch and no one will ever ask you a bribe... My lessons learnt...

Always pretend to be a big shot even if you are not one...

Don't you do this servant job again... ask questions straight away and file an RTI immediately... you will get it done...

Atleast say the police officer that you will file an RTI straightaway if he doesn't follow standard procedures... If he says too many things... ask for the list of standard procedures and do it yourself.... Bloody behave educated...

Sridhar said...

@yadav,

machi its too easy to say or do as u say "if you are alone". if you are with others, who need things to be done badly, you cant screw up things.

Most stupid thing is i never needed an FIR!! I could have just went and get it fixed in the service station! All the waiting i did was for the case to be closed which needs vehicle inspection!

And btw, two of the others did come with a big shot. We couldnt do much because the RTO did not come....

Anonymous said...

Hello brother...

Even i too had faced a similar accident. I had made no mistake , but still someone else came and hit me. But i didnt go for a fight with the person. I just took my bike to the service station and told them about the accident , they asked me to wait for some min , within no time a guy came from my insurance company. he inspected my bike and he gave me a brief details about how much percentage i could get in each of my bike parts. and since mine was a new bike juz few months old. he told me i can get nearly 100% money back for the iron parts and some 50% for the fibre parts , he even suggested me to replace even small scratched parts. And so i asked them to replace all of my iron parts even the parts which had small scratchs. So my service providers replaced all of the old parts with brand new parts. but i have to pay the whole bill at that time itself. and the insuarce guy took the bill with him. and he told me i'l get back the money in one month. And as he said i got all of my money back after one month from my insurance company. All i had lost was some 200 rupees . "This would have been a good option for you" .. You never would have faced all these problems if i was still there in the gym Sridhar - Any way Bad Luck !!