The Virtual Court (traffic) and e-Challan project have been recently (12th November, 2020) inaugurated in Assam by SarbanandaSonowal, the chief minister of Assam. The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Committee of Gauhati High Court in association with Government of Assam and Assam Police, under the aegis of e-Committee of Supreme Court of India, are spearheading the project in the State. Maharashtra’s 2nd virtual court called “NyayKaushal” was recently inaugurated on 31st October by Arvind Bobde, the Chief Justice of India and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud of the Supreme Court at Judicial Officers Training Institute in Nagpur
E-challan solution is an initiative of the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) whereas the software has been developed by National Informatics Centre (NIC). It will replace the present concept of manual challan with an electronically generated digital challan.
Virtual court is an initiative of E-Commitee of Supreme Court along with Department of Justice, Ministry of Law& Justice, Government of India.Virtual Court is an online court being managed by Virtual Judge (which is not a person but an algorithm) whose jurisdiction can be extended to entire state and working hours may be 24X7. There is no brick& mortar building of the court. In a trial by Virtual Court, neither litigant shall come to the court nor will Judge have to sit physically in the court to adjudicate the case. The communication may only be in electronic form and the sentencing and further payment of fine or compensation will also be online. Only single process is allowed and there can be no argument. It may be proactive admission of guilt by the accused or proactive compliance of the cause by defendant on receipt of the summons in electronic form. On payment of Fine, such matters may be treated as disposed off. Citizen neither have to wait in lines in courts nor have to confront Traffic Police man. It will increase productivity of citizen as well as judicial officers. It will promote greater accountability and less corruption in Traffic Police Department thus bettering life of people. In Assam due to Virtual Court work of 10 judges will be done by only single judge thus sparing 9 Judges for judicial work.
A Virtual Court was inaugurated in Delhi on 26th July 2019 and in Haryana on 17th August 2019 to initially try Traffic Challan cases.Currently there are 9 Virtual courts functioning in India- Delhi (2 Courts), Haryana (Faridabad), Maharashtra (Pune), Madras, Karnataka (Bengaluru), Maharashtra (Nagpur), Kerala (Kochi) and Assam (Gauhati). They are all dealing with Traffic Challan cases only.Over 30 lakh cases have been handled by 7 virtual courts and in over 10 lakh cases online fine of more than Rs.123 Cr has been realised till recently. In fact, one single court in Delhi has singlehandedly collected more than Rs.115crore as online fines.
Status of cases filed in Virtual Courts( till 9th November, 2020):
|State||Challans received||Proceedings done||Challans in which fine is paid||Fine collected||contested|
|Maharashtra (Pune traffic department)||4,811||4,790||324||64,801||11|
*Virtual Court of Assam and Nagpur have recently launched, hence case status in these courts is not available as of now.