Authority of India (NHAI) has filed an affidavit seeking dismissal of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging circulars issued in February mandating double user fee for non-FASTag vehicles and conversion of Hybrid lane into a FASTag lane.
The PIL is “frivolous” and “there is no issue of public importance involved’’. The PIL was filed by Arjun Khanapure not filed with public interest in mind, said the NHAI pointing out that the FASTag, a radio frequency identification technology (RFID) was introduced by the government of India in 2014 as a move to ensure swifter and seamless road commute “with sufficient time to the public to adopt the change’’.
Its use “obviated requirement of exchange of cash currency during the current pandemic period’’ said the reply filed earlier this month in PIL being heard by a bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni.
The NHAI also explained that contrary to claims in the PIL, it was “not mandatory to link Bank accounts to FASTag’’ nor is Aadhar Card required to obtain FASTag. Customers may link their FASTag with “any available pre-paid wallet of their choice’’ and topped up without linking a bank account, said NHAI.
The double user fee is applicable under the National Highway Fee (determination of rates and collection) Rules, 2008 the Central authority stated and contended that “using FASTag does not violate Fundamental rights of any citizen.’’