New Delhi, India: Frowning over the surcharge levied upon passengers for installation of GPS/GPRS in autorickshaws, the Delhi High Court (in India) asked the Delhi State Government to explain the rationale behind the decision.
A division bench comprising acting chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw asked the state government to justify why they had permitted autorickshaw owners/drivers to levy a charge of 50 paise/km on passengers. “How can you ask commuters to pay this amount? Why make them your collection agent without their consent,” the bench asked standing counsel for state government Najmi Waziri.
HC’s poser came after it went through the government’s reply that claimed autorickshaw owners can’t blame it for increasing their financial burden by making installation of GPS/GPRS compulsory as they have already hiked the fare to allow the autorickshaw owners to collect extra amount from passengers. In its reply, the government also argued it had allowed owners to install GPS from whichever dealer they wish as long as it conforms to some minimum standards.
The court was hearing a bunch of petitions challenging the government’s notification demanding INR 15,000 from auto drivers for installing GPS systems. The petitioners argued they can’t be forced to pay the amount for GPS installation as they are daily wage earners and it would harm their livelihood. The petitioners, including auto drivers, contend the government’s decision is a violation of their fundamental right of livelihood.
Last year the government has issued a notification which authorised the government to collect extra money for setting up a Control Centre Room for installing GPS/GPRS on the vehicle for better service, security and customer convenience.
Arguing before HC, the petitioners pointed out that as per the original plan GPS systems were to be fitted by April 2011 and the government had agreed to bear half the cost of installing the GPS systems in the autos. However not a single pilot project has been completed and the authorities are still in the process of ensuring implementation.
Source: Times of India