Delhi High Court seeks Centre’s response on PIL challenging double toll tax for vehicles without FASTag.

It has been seen that if your vehicle does not have fast tag you have to pay the double amount as penalty on Toll Plaza across the nation.

The PIL has been filed by a practising lawyer named Ravinder Tyagi through Advocate Praveen Agrawal, arguing that the rules and government orders are discriminatory, arbitrary and against public interest. 

The Delhi High Court on Friday sought responses from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRT&H) on a petition challenging the rule and circulars forcing commuters without a functional FASTag to pay double toll tax [Ravinder Tyagi v NHAI & Anr].

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad issued notices and directed the government to file an affidavit within four weeks. 

Agrawal has challenged the second proviso to sub-rule (3) of Rule 6 of the National Highway Fees (Determination of Rates and Collection) Amendment Rules, 2020 as well as the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways letters dated July 19, 2019 and February 16, 2021, and the NHAI circular of March 3, 2021.

The plea argues that the government has imposed unreasonable restrictions on the movement of goods and passengers throughout the country, which have no nexus with the object to be achieved.

“It is also submitted that administrative convenience (of Collection of the Toll Fees through Online Mechanism) of the State cannot be a ground for discrimination. It is also submitted that any convenience of the State cannot be a ground for discrimination of the nature imposed by the Rule and Impugned Orders/ Circulars/ Notifications,” the plea said.

It further stated that the service rendered by the NHAI and the MoRT&H to the commuters is the same, and, therefore there does not exist any rationale in collecting double the amount by those paying in cash.

“Authorities, ought to have, kept at least 50%, 25% of the Toll Gates are Cash / FASTag and balance as FASTag only. It is submitted that by this methodology the issue of seamless travel would have been addressed, without creating the present situation.”

The case will now be taken up on April 18.

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