The Delhi High Court on Friday sought the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the Centre’s answer to a petition contesting the regulation requiring cars without FASTag to pay double the toll charge.
A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad issued notices to the NHAI and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRT&H) on the petition, which claimed that the rule was discriminatory, arbitrary, and against the public interest because it allows the NHAI to collect tolls at twice the rate if paid in cash.
The top court gave the authorities four weeks to file their responses and scheduled a hearing on April 18th.
Petitioner Ravinder Tyagi, represented by advocate Praveen Agrawal, has asked the court to overturn a provision of the National Highway Fees (Determination of Rates and Collection) Amendment Rules, 2020, as amended by MoRT&H letters and an NHAI circular, which requires commuters without a FASTag to pay double the toll tax.
FASTag is a gadget that uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to pay tolls while the car is in motion. FASTag (RFID Tag) is attached to the vehicle’s windscreen and allows the client to pay tolls directly from the linked account.
According to the petition, these regulations and the circular turn all toll lanes to 100% FASTag lanes, forcing commuters who do not have a working FASTag to pay double the toll amount.
The petitioner, a lawyer, claimed he was forced to put a FASTag device in his car because he was forced to pay double the toll in cash.
He stated that before installing the FASTag, he had paid toll tax at double the rate. He alluded to the anguish of commuters he witnessed on his travels from Delhi to Faridabad, Haryana.