New Delhi [India], December 23 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging a circular directed Regional Officers(ROs)/Project Directors to collect double the toll fees from vehicles, not fitted with functional FASTags crossing toll plazas.
The Bench of Justice Satish Chander Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad on Friday sought a response from the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Union of India through the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRT&H). The court fixed April 18, 2023 date for the next hearing in the matter.
The petitioner Ravinder Tyagi, a practicing advocate through his counsel Praveen Agarwal stated that impugned 2nd proviso to sub-rule 3 of Rule 6 of National Highway Fees (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008 read with MoRT&H letter dated February 16, 2021, and July 19, 2019, and NHAI circular dated March 3, 2021, converting all the toll lanes to 100 per cent FASTag lanes. A consequence of the orders / Rule is that Commuters, without having a Functional FASTag, are compelled to pay double the toll amount.
Plea seeks direction to the respondents to stop the practice of collecting double the amount of Toll Fees if paid in cash, as it is violative of Articles 14 and 19 of the Constitution of India stated the plea.
The plea further stated that National Highway Fees (Determination of Rates and Collection) amendment Rules 2020 without any intelligible differentia and rationale has discriminated between persons paying Tolls with cash and online methodology.
"There does not exist a justification in the law for charging Toll at double the rate if paid in cash in as much as the value of money if paid in cash or through FASTag remains the same. Even today all the FASTag lanes are collecting Tolls in cash and therefore there does not exist any rationale in collecting double the amount on the premise of seamless travel," the plea read. (ANI)