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Top excise officer hauls fleecing cabbie to cops

While tampered meters have become a common modus operandi for taxi and auto rickshaw drivers in the city, a Cool Cab driver chose the wrong person to take for a ride recently, and ended up feeling the heat at a police station. Last Thursday, around 5:30 pm, Deputy Commissioner Yogesh Sharma of central excise department, Thane, hired a Cool Cab close to the passport office in Thane to go to his home in Nerul. Nearly an hour later, when Sharma reached his residence, the meter displayed that the vehicle had travelled around 40 km.


Pic for representation

“Sharma, who commutes regularly by cab, on this stretch was aware that the distance between Thane and Navi Mumbai is not more than 26 km. The reading on the meter showed an extra 14 km. The two had an argument and approached us,” said an officer from the Nerul police station. The driver has been booked for a non-cognisable (NC) offence by the Nerul police.


Unfair: A Cool Cab driver charged deputy commissioner (excise) Yogesh Sharma 35 per cent extra fare from passport office in Thane to his residence in Nerul. Representation pic

The pertinent question, of course, is whether cops would have been as agreeable to lodging an offence if the complainant had been an aam aadmi instead of a senior excise officer. A fleecing cabbie was dished out just deserts after he allegedly charged a commuter 35 per cent extra fare. The driver of the Cool Cab has been booked for a non-cognisable (NC) offence by the Nerul police.

Last Thursday, around 5:30 pm, deputy commissioner Yogesh Sharma of central excise department, Thane hired a Cool Cab close to the passport office in Thane to go to his residence in Nerul. Nearly an hour later, when Sharma reached his residence, the meter said the vehicle had travelled 40 km. “Sharma who commutes regularly by cab on this stretch was aware that the distance between Thane and Navi Mumbai is not more than 26 km. The reading on the meter showed an extra 14 km. The two had an argument and approached us,” said an officer from the Nerul police station.

In his complaint, Sharma stated that the cab driver had already added three kilometres before they started the commute. Sharma pointed it out to the driver and the latter agreed to deduct the three km while calculating the final fare. Accordingly, when Sharma reached his house, the meter read 43 km. “Though the taxi driver agreed to deduct the three kilometres, I realised he had still charged me for an additional 14 km. Throughout the journey, I was working on my laptop. Since I suspected that the distance displayed on the meter wasn’t right, I browsed on the Internet and proved to him that Thane is just 26 km away from Nerul,” Sharma said.

After the dispute, the duo approached the police, where an NC was registered against the driver. When contacted, assistant police inspector AA Gosavi of Nerul police station said, “The deputy commissioner (excise) came to our police station with a complaint against a Cool Cab driver [no MH04-BB-4846]. He alleged that the driver was not carrying his badge and his meter was tampered with. The duty officer on Thursday registered a non-cognisable offence in the matter.” 

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