HC asks NHAI to respond to plea challenging collection of double toll tax from vehicles without FASTag

PTI, 23 December 2022, 14:20 IST

The Delhi High Court on Friday sought the response of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the Center on a plea challenging the rule making it mandatory for non-FASTag vehicles to pay double the toll.

A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad issued notices on the petition to the NHAI and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRT&H) stating that the rule was discriminatory, arbitrary and against public interest as it empowered the NHAI. toll charged at double rate, if paid in cash.

The High Court gave the authorities four weeks to file their replies and listed the matter for further hearing on April 18.

Petitioner Ravinder Tyagi, represented by advocate Praveen Agrawal, has sought quashing of a provision in the National Highways Tariff (Toll and Collection) Amendment Rules, 2020, read with the letters MoRT&H and the NHAI circular, against passengers who do not have a FASTTag in their vehicles. they have to pay double the toll tax.

FASTag is a device that uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to make toll payments directly while the vehicle is in motion. The FASTag (RFID Tag) is placed on the windshield of the vehicle and allows the customer to pay the toll directly from the account linked to it.

The complaint said that these rules and the circular convert all tolls into 100 percent FASTag lanes and as a result passengers without functional FASTag are forced to pay double the toll.

The petitioner, a lawyer, said he was forced to install a FASTag device in his car because he was forced to pay double the toll in cash.

He said he paid double the rate before FASTag was installed. He referred to the agony of passengers seen during his visits from Delhi to Faridabad in Haryana.

The plea said the petitioner had made a representation to the NHAI and the ministry but was not satisfied with the response, after which he approached the High Court.

He sought direction from the authorities concerned to stop the practice of charging double tax on tolls, saying it violated Articles 14 (equality before law) and 19 (freedom of speech and expression) of the Constitution.

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