HC requests that NHAI reply to the petition objecting to the collecting of double toll taxes from unregistered cars

On Friday, the Delhi High Court requested the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the Centre to respond to a petition contesting the regulation requiring vehicles without FASTag to pay double the toll levy.

NHAI and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) received notices from the Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad bench in response to the petition, which argued that the rule was unfair because it allows the NHAI to charge tolls that are paid in cash at a doubled rate.

The high court set a new hearing date of April 18 and gave the government four weeks to submit its responses.

Commuters without a FASTag on their vehicles are required to pay double the toll tax under a provision of the National Highway Fees (Determination of Rates and Collection) Amendment Rules, 2020, as well as letters from MoRTH and an NHAI circular, according to petitioner Ravinder Tyagi, who is represented by attorney Praveen Agrawal.

A gadget called FASTag uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to enable toll payments to be made directly from moving vehicles. The FASTag (RFID Tag) is attached to the vehicle's windscreen and allows users to pay tolls using the account that is connected to it.

According to the complaint, these regulations and the circular transform all toll lanes into 100% FASTag lanes, forcing commuters without a functional FASTag to pay double the toll amount.

The petitioner, a lawyer, alleged that having to pay the twice the toll in cash forced him to install a FASTag device in his car.

He claimed that he had paid toll taxes at a doubled rate before to installing the FASTag. He made mention of the suffering of the passengers he witnessed on his trips from Delhi to Faridabad in Haryana.

According to the argument, the petitioner had lodged a complaint to the NHAI and the government but was unsatisfied with their answer, so he went to the high court.

He requested a directive to the relevant authorities to prohibit the practice of collecting double toll tax, claiming it violated Articles 14 of the Constitution (equality before the law) and 19 of the Constitution (freedom of speech and expression).

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