HC questions method of fixing auto, taxi fares

Nov 23 2012, 10:50 IST
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SummaryAsks state government to file affidavit explaining decision-making process.

Asks state government to file affidavit explaining decision-making process.

Bombay High Court (HC) questioned on Thursday Maharashtra government method of fixing auto-rickshaw and taxi fares at a level lower than recommended by Hakim Committee and asked it to file an affidavit explaining the decision-making process.

This was after advocate general Darius Khambata told the court fares recommended by the one-man committee of retired bureaucrat PMA Hakim were reduced slightly.

“If the recommendations were made after consideration of all aspects, why did the government depart from the opinion and reduce fares? If the reductions were not ad hoc, some justification should be there for the method of calculation,” a division bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Amjad Sayed said. HC said the state government was answerable to the electorate. It was hearing a PIL by Mumbai Grahak Panchayat contesting the “arbitrary” and “unreasonable” fare hike “effected due to pressure from auto and taxi unions”.

Earlier, Khambata defended the committee saying previous multi-member panels had failed to arrive at a consensus. He said Hakim Committee performed its task “in a scientific manner”.

At the previous hearing, HC had questioned the rationale behind constitution of the one-man panel and suggested it should have included transport & finance experts.

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