Bombay HC directs Centre to respond to a PIL against FASTag


The Bombay High Court has directed the Ministry of Road Transport and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Wednesday to respond to a PIL challenging the decision of making FASTag, which is fitted in a vehicle that automatically pays toll when a vehicle crosses the boom barrier of a toll plaza, mandatory for all vehicles.

The PIL was filed last week by a businessman from Pune, Arjun Khanapure , challenging circulars that mandated double fee instead of actual fee for single journey as a penalty for vehicles without FASTag.

Mr Khanapure  sought a lane for cash payment and rest for FASTag for commuters at all toll plazas.

Advocate Uday Warunjikar for the petitioner stated that the provision of FASTag is leading to problems for those not comfortable with technology, and that the authorities arbitrarily replaced the cash counter or cash lane into FASTag scanner at toll plazas on all national and state highways, thereby leaving no scope for cash payment.

The PIL underlined that even though the authorities made a provision for FASTag since 2016, many are still not comfortable with the technology and are unable to maintain a FASTag account and, hence, prefer to pay cash at toll plazas.

The PIL, pending hearing, also sought stay on the circulars issued by the government on February 12 and 14 making FASTag mandatory.

Directing the central government authorities to file affidavits in reply to the PIL, a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni on Wednesday posted further hearing to March 17.

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