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Delhi HC stays increase in auto fares by AAP govt


New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Friday stayed the AAP government's decision to increase auto-rickshaw fares in the national capital.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar said, "We hereby stay the operation of the June 12 notification issued by the Delhi government till the next date of hearing."   

The high court listed the matter for further hearing on May 21.

The court was hearing a petition filed by NGO, Aiding Hands Foundation, seeking that the notification revising the auto fares be set aside as it was issued without the approval of the competent authority and would severely impact the people.

The high court on July 8 last year refused to stay the AAP government's decision to increase auto-rickshaw fares.

It, however, had issued notice to the Centre, Delhi government, its transport department and fare revision commission on the PIL.

The petition challenged the notification saying authorities arbitrarily revised the auto fares in Delhi, adversely impacting the residents who are otherwise victimised by the unruly behaviour of auto drivers and charging of exorbitant amount.

Advocate D P Singh, appearing for the NGO, had told the court that the notification was issued without the approval of the lieutenant governor, and it deserved to be set aside being bad in law.

AAP government's standing counsel Ramesh Singh opposed the petition saying that in this issue the power to take the decision lies with the Delhi government and not the L-G.

The petition, however, was supported by central government's standing counsel Jasmeet Singh who said it has to be set aside.

The plea, filed through advocates Anurag Tandon and Ashwin Manoharan, has claimed that the notification was issued without any authority in law and in flagrant violation of the constitutional provisions.

It said the auto drivers seldom agree to go by the meters and charge exorbitantly and the fare revision only authorises them to charge a higher price than usual.

"An increase in the auto fares may also lead to an increase in the price of certain basic commodities since autos are regularly used for ferrying goods within the city," it added.

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