Smethwick-based Arvind Khokhar, trading as City Speed, was ordered to pay £125 costs by Traffic Commissioner (TC) Nick Denton after judging that her conduct in relation to failing to attend a Public Inquiry had been frivolous and unreasonable.
The TC revoked the three-vehicle national licence held by Mrs Khokhar and disqualified her from holding or obtaining a PSV O-Licence indefinitely. He also disqualified indefinitely her Transport Manager (TM), her husband Rajinder Singh Khokhar, from acting as such.
In his decision the TC said on 13 March 2018, an hour before the PI was due to commence, Mr Khokhar handed in a letter dated 13 March 2018 from Mrs Khokhar which stated that she would not be able to attend the PI as a result of an eye hospital appointment.
He noted that the hospital appointment had been made on 23 January 2018. Mrs Khokhar had clearly known that it clashed with the hospital appointment and had had six weeks in which to resolve the clash.
The hospital’s letter dated 23 January clearly stated that it would arrange an alternative date if 13 March was not convenient for Mrs Khokhar. Owing to that late notification, Traffic Examiner (TE) Tracy Love had a fruitless journey from her base in Wolverhampton to the PI in Birmingham. Moreover, a valuable public inquiry slot, which could have devoted to another seriously non-compliant operator, had been wasted.
On 30 June 2017, a 53-seater, driven by Mr Khokhar, was checked at Alton Towers by TE Peter Yarranton. Mr Khokhar only had the tachograph chart he was using that day. However, from another chart in the vehicle in the name of Interjit Singh, the TE established that the vehicle had travelled almost 3000km in the last two weeks. Mr Khokhar stated that Mr Singh was a friend who borrowed the vehicle occasionally to use locally around Smethwick under his own O-Licence. Subsequent inquiries showed that Mr Singh had held a PSV O-Licence between 2000 and 2005 when it lapsed.
Mr Khokhar said that he could not remember when he had last driven the vehicle. He owned the vehicle and he drove it. The licence was in his wife’s name because he had been working for West Midlands Travel when it had been applied for, but it was he who did “everything”. The missing 3000km was probably a mixture of his own and Mr Singh’s driving as he and Mr Singh “helped each other out” with their businesses.
When interviewed by TE Love, Mrs Khokhar explained that the licence was Mr Khokhar’s to manage and deal with and she had “nothing to do with it”.
TE Love’s examination of the tachograph records revealed numerous and repeated infringements by drivers including Mr Khokhar. He admitted to falsifying documents in order to appear compliant. He was unable to account for a large amount of missing mileage or fraudulent entries which had clearly been made on some tachograph charts.