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November 20, 2009

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Court clears set-up Samaritan

The white-collar worker who picked up a seeming hitchhiker in distress, only to be roughed up and fined for allegedly driving an illegal taxi, got his vindication in district court yesterday.

He also got the award he wanted:

The 50 yuan (US$7.30) cost of filing the lawsuit.

That fee is to be paid by the Minhang District traffic-law enforcement team that entrapped the man and improperly fined him, the court said in a ruling witnessed by 80 people.

The local man, Zhang Hui, met the "hitchhiker" who claimed to have stomach pain and pleaded for a ride on September 8.

Zhang said the stranger got into his vehicle and, after traveling a short distance, suddenly turned off the ignition and grabbed his keys.

Zhang said he was then dragged out of the car by men hiding nearby, had his driving license and car confiscated and was shown a penalty notice for operating an illegal taxi service.

Zhang said he has a stable, high-paying job and had no intention of being an illegal cabbie.

He just wanted to help a person who appeared to be in trouble.

Zhang got his car back after paying a fine of 10,200 yuan (US$1,500) on September 14.

Zhang filed a lawsuit to Minhang District People's Court on September 28, asking that the punishment be withdrawn.

A government investigation proved that the so-called hitchhiker was actually paid by the enforcement team to set traps for cabbies.

Zhang got the fine back. But he insisted on the lawsuit, hoping the court would give him a fair judgment.

The court said the enforcement team has the duty to seize illegal taxis. But because it withdrew its administrative punishment before the hearing and no evidence showed that Zhang was an unlicensed cabbie, the court ruled the punishment invalid.


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