A Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the Bombay High Court against the Central Government’s decision making Fastag mandatory for all four-wheeled vehicles in the country.
The PIL, filed by activist Arjun Khanpure, stated Fastag is an electronic toll chip that the government has mandated to be installed on all vehicles passing through toll plazas on highways. It is alleged that tolls are being arbitrarily collected on toll points from such drivers who have not installed Fastag in their vehicles and sometimes this collection is twice the actual amount .
The petition said that many people are still not comfortable with online payment of money, therefore, the facility of cash toll counter for all citizens should be continued or at least one gate in the toll plaza should be maintained where there is a cash counter for toll collection, claimed the petition.
The petition has further claimed that the circular issued by the Central government regarding the imperative of Fastag on February 12 and 14 should be stayed till the petition is heard.
The division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta and Justice Girish Kulkarni has sought a reply from the Central government and directed the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to file an affidavit by March 17.
It is pertinent to note that the toll amount of the vehicle (having FASTag Chip) automatically transfers from the Fastag account which can be renewed by linking one’s bank account as soon as the vehicle passes through the toll plaza.