Mumbai: Maharashtra government to refund fines for wrong e-challans
Bhushan Koyande

As good news for motorists who have been victims of wrong e-challans issued against them, the state government has decided to refund the penalty amount. A separate account has been opened to refund the money and the additional director general of police (traffic) has been appointed as the nodal officer to ensure the money is refunded to those wrongly charged, Home Department officials informed on Friday.

The e-challan system was fully operational in 2017 and 2018. Before it, fines were charged manually. CCTVs installed by the government across the state are linked with the e-challan system.

"E-challan machines are provided to the traffic police personnel to impose fines on vehicles. Sometimes, due to some technical glitch, or because of fancy number plates, the vehicle registration numbers are not caught in the cameras properly. But this is in very rare circumstances. Whenever someone complains of having been wrongly charged e-challan, the unit that has issued the challan verifies the complaint. If it is found to be true, then a report is sent to the Traffic Department, stating that a challan has been issued to a wrong vehicle and the reason for which the challan was issued is also mentioned in the report," said a traffic police officer.

A lot of people do not pay the fine once they are certain that a wrong e-challan has been issued against their vehicle. “However, sometimes, people also end up paying the fine amount and later realises that they were wrongly charged. Once the money is paid even for e-challan, it goes to the government treasury. Until now, there was no mechanism to refund the money to the motorists and we had requested the government to derive a way wherein money can be refunded," he said.

The government has decided to refund the money to those who paid a fine for the wrong e-challans issued against them. “A separate account has been opened to ensure that the refund process is initiated smoothly. As of now, we will be refunding Rs 1.10 lakh to the motorists who were wrongly charged across the state. Within three months, the money will be refunded to the motorists," ADGP (state highway traffic), Dr BK Upadhyaya told the Free Press Journal.

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