What is a Challan?
Challan is an official notification issued by authorities under Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 notifying the violator (Motor vehicle driver) of violations of traffic rules and regulations defined under the Act attracting penalties.
Methods of issuing challan
There are two types of challan:
a) ON THE SPOT CHALLAN – when an violator is served/notified about the offence committed by him/her on the spot by the concerned police official.
b) E-CHALLAN – when the communication of violation under the Act is made electronically eg. in cases such as incorrect parking and/or when caught by a digital camera for over speeding or jumping the red light.
What is traffic e-challan?
E-challan is the electronic form of the regular physical challan issued for traffic violations. You can pay the e-challan through both online and offline methods.
Who can issue traffic challan?
Traffic Police of and above the rank of head constables can issue challan, not the normal police personnel.
How to pay challan online?
Follow the e-challan steps of the respective state for example.
In how many days do I have to make the payment of e-challan?
A maximum of 60 days is provided to pay your e-challan from the day of the offence, failing which it will be sent to the court and payment/settlement shall happen in court.
How to pay if vehicle is impounded?
In the event of on-the spot challan being issued, the message will be sent to the violator’s mobile number whereas in case of e-challan, such message will be sent to the registered mobile number. The intimation will contain the address of the Court with the date and time where the violator has to appear before a Magistrate and submit the requisite penalty/fine.
Contesting the challan:
In case of challan issued for not producing the relevant documents on demand then upon producing such relevant documents (existing prior to the occurrence) within 15 days, you can get the challan canceled by paying ₹100 per document.
Received a wrong e-challan?
(Error of the speed camera- mistaking your car for a different car)
Vehicle owners can send in their challan number and seek verification over mail to the respective state traffic police.
How to reduce your fine?
In Lok Adalat, with a view to settle the offence, the violator can plead for reduction of fine/penalty.
Can anyone stop me on road for payment of fine?
No, the traffic police do not have the right to recover the fine from you. You can pay them, but they have no right to force the driver to pay instantly.
Consequences of not paying challan on time:
If you do not submit the e-challan on time, your challan is likely to go to court. Following which the vehicle owner needs to go to court to pay fines. Even on-spot challan is also sent to the court by the traffic police after a period of 60 days, if not paid.
(The author, Prachi Mishra, is a Supreme Court lawyer and Additional Advocate General, Chhattisgarh)