You wake up one morning and check your messages, and what do you see? A message from the Traffic Police, detailing the traffic offence made by your vehicle on a particular day, at a particular time. The fine for the said offence is also substantial. You feel worried, and promise yourself to be more careful the next time. However, on closer inspection of the message, you realise that you were not even on the road that day! So you wonder, how could my vehicle have committed a traffic violation when it was not even supposed to be on the road, or even in that area? Does this story sound familiar to you? If yes, then you are no stranger to the case of wrong e-challan. Throughout social media, people have been posting their stories of how their vehicle was fined wrongfully by the traffic police. Maybe the cameras read the number plate incorrectly, and issued an overspeeding challan to a different vehicle. Or you were asked to produce your vehicle documentation by the traffic officer, who refused to accept the digital copies and fined you for it. The possibilities are endless!
Now what can you do when you find yourself face to face with a challan that you are certain does not belong to you? The first thing that we suggest is to actually verify the online challan status and the claim. More often than not, the challan issued to you comes with a picture of your vehicle committing the offence, which you can see online via the e-challan service on the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH)’s website Parivahan Sewa. The website offers a host of services, including but not limited to, RC book download facility, driving licence renewal application, e-challan payments, etc. So you must first visit the website, punch in the challan number as received on your mobile via SMS, and methodically verify the details. You will get more clarity if there’s an image available as well. Once you do that and are certain that the challan has been issued to you by mistake, then you can proceed forward by contesting the challan.
Remember that the section 208 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, clearly states that any person that receives a challan issued against them has the option to either pay the fine or contest the challan. You have multiple options to contest the challan. One way is to log on to the e-challan service on the Parivahan Sewa website and directly challenge the challan. Or you can pay a visit online to the virtual traffic courts set up and plead your case there. You can also write to the traffic police department and air your grievances about receiving a wrong challan, or can visit the traffic police station with an application and proof supplementing your claim. You can also call your local traffic police’s helpline number and directly ask them for guidance. Due to the rising number of such instances, the traffic department across different states has been actively trying to set a protocol to make the process of contesting wrongful challan easier for the citizens.