Maharashtra Highway Police have issued an order asking their personnel not to collect fine from vehicles carrying migrant labourers during the lockdown.
Following complaints that some police personnel were collecting money illegally in the guise of fine from such vehicles, the highway police warned that those found indulging in such acts would be terminated from service.
Amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown, thousands of migrant workers who have lost their jobs and people stranded in Maharashtra have been returning to their native places.
Many of them are leaving in private vehicles, and the state highway police have been taking action against them for violation of provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act.
However, senior police officials recently received complaints that at some places, the highway police personnel were collecting money illegally in the guise of fine from those vehicles.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray also took note of the complaints and state Director General of Police conveyed his displeasure over such incidents.
Subsequently, the highway police on Wednesday issued an order to stop any kind of fine collection from vehicles carrying migrants labourers, and asked that if any action is needed to be taken under the Motor Vehicles Act, it should not involve taking money.
"If any officer or personnel is found collecting money from those vehicles, then he or she will not only be suspended but also terminated from service," the order said.
The order was circulated in north and west Maharashtra, and Konkan, which falls under the jurisdiction of Thane region's superintendent of police of the state highway.
The order also said that the police personnel should help migrant workers in their travel during this tough time.