The Gujarat government recently told the High Court, which was hearing a public interest litigation seeking the setting up of virtual traffic courts in the state, that it was already in the process of doing so under the ‘One Nation One Challan’ initiative.
GS II: Government Policies and Interventions
Dimensions of the Article:
- What is the One Nation, One Challan initiative?
- Virtual Traffic courts
- How does the integration help?
What is the One Nation, One Challan initiative?
- One Nation, One Challan is an initiative of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to bring all related agencies, such as the traffic police and the Regional Transport Office (RTO), on one platform, to enable seamless collection of challans as well as data transfer.
- The integrated system involves detection of traffic violations through the CCTV network and getting the registration number of the erring vehicle from applications like VAHAN (detecting the vehicle’s ownership details) and SARATHI (compilation of driving licenses).
- An e-challan is then generated with the relevant penalty amount, and sent to the mobile number linked with the vehicle.
Virtual Traffic courts
Virtual traffic courts operate as follows:
- If a challan amount is not paid within 90 days, it will be automatically forwarded to a virtual court and proceedings will begin.
- The accused will receive a summons on their mobile phone.
- The virtual court aims to eliminate the physical presence of litigants.
- The accused can search for their case on the virtual court’s website and pay the fine.
- Upon successful payment of the fine, the case will be marked as disposed of.
- Currently, court number 16 of Ahmedabad city sessions court is being designated as a virtual court for the whole of Gujarat to deal with ‘One Nation, One Challan’ cases.
- More jurisdictional courts may be added in the future.
A petition filed before the Gujarat High Court highlights that in Surat city alone, over 49 lakh e-challans were issued between April 2013 and August 2020, with an accumulated fine of Rs. 136 crore, of which Rs. 122 crore is yet to be recovered.
How does the integration help?
- The integration of all the states’ RTO data and traffic police data with the support of National Informatics Centre (NIC) servers will enable better identification of vehicle ownership and streamline the process of penalizing violators of traffic regulations.
- With the integration, if a vehicle from a different state is captured violating traffic regulations on CCTV, the related data, including the vehicle’s registration number, can be accessed by the local traffic police.
- The challan will then be sent directly to the mobile number mentioned at the time of the vehicle’s registration, making the process more efficient.
- Additionally, the NIC is set to launch its own application for delivering e-challans. This integration is expected to facilitate better enforcement of traffic regulations and improve road safety.
-Source: Indian Express