Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal, recently launched the Virtual Court (traffic) and e-Challan project. The Information & Communication Technology (ICT) Committee of Gauhati High Court in association with the Government of Assam and Assam Police, under the aegis of e-Committee of Supreme Court of India, are spearheading the project in the State.
The e-challan solution has been an initiative by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) which is powered by the software developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC). It will replace the present concept of a manual challan with an electronically generated digital challan.
On the other hand, the virtual court is an initiative of E-Committee of Supreme Court along with the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law & Justice, Government of India.
Virtual Court is a concept wherein no actual judge has to be present on the other side of the screen but an algorithm does the job. The algorithm’s jurisdiction can be extended to an entire state and working hours may be 24X7. 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. It only allows a single process and there can be no argument. It may be proactive admission of guilt by the accused or proactive compliance of the cause by the defendant on receipt of the summons in electronic form. Further, on payment of fine, the matter may be treated as disposed of. Citizens neither have to wait in lines in courts nor have to confront Traffic Policemen. It will increase the productivity of citizen as well as judicial officers.
In Assam due to Virtual Court, work of 10 judges will be done by only single judge thus sparing 9 Judges for judicial work.