The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, India has recently issued a statement on 20-09-2019 stating that documents such as driving license, registration certificate, papers related to insurance, fitness and pollution check of motor vehicle, etc, may now be produced by a user of a motor vehicle either in its physical form or in its electronic form, when demanded by a police officer or any other person authorized by the State Government. It has further discussed a detailed Standard Operating Procedure dated 17-12-2018 (SoP) that enables enforcement agencies to validate information or impound various such document(s) in their electronic form.
As per the said SoP, the electronic version of the documents such as driving license, registration certificate, etc would be legally recognized by any enforcement agency in India, only after such documents are verified in the following manner:
- Electronic records to be available on DigiLocker Platform
The Ministry requires that a user has to store the electronic records of certain documents in an application (App) called the DigiLocker. This App was launched by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on Android and Apple platforms in various mobile phones.
The said App enables the users to get the electronic version of a particular document such as permanent account number (PAN), driving license, registration certificate, education certificates, etc, verified from the concerned department or agency. Thereafter, the verified electronic document gets stored in the App.
2. Electronic records to be available on mParivahan Platform
The data related to insurance of vehicles, driving license, registration certificate of motor vehicle, etc may also be verified and stored in the mParivahan App launched by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
3. Electronic records to be verified through eChallan Platform
eChallan App is a platform, whereby the concerned enforcement officer may enter the credentials of a particular document and validate the information. The said App may also be used to create an eChallan for any violation or offence committed by the user and update their offence history in the eChallan database. The violator may then pay the penalty online and get the case disposed of at the earliest.
Thus, the Government of India has legally recognized and treated the verified electronic records at par with the original documents as per the provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000 as amended thereof.
This would enable the user to only carry their mobile phones, and not physical documents, to produce verified e-documents to enforcement agencies and also, reduce the burden and cost of maintaining inventory or physical records, reduce the harassment to collect physical documents after payment of penalties, etc.
Further, such verified electronic records also enable the enforcement agencies across the country to have access to the database of a particular user including his offence history, pending payments of penalties, any other recommendations for suspension or blocking of driving license, etc and further, ensure fast, transparent and accountable system in India.
Senior Legal Associate
The Indian Lawyer