By LE Desk

Mumbai, March 20: The Bombay High Court on Friday sought to know from the Central government whether the vehicles not having FASTag will be deemed as illegal and not allowed to ply on the roads.

The court also asked the Centre to state its position on the fine imposed on non-FASTag vehicles for entering FASTag lanes.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni was on Friday hearing a PIL filed by Arjun Khanapure, a businessman from Pune, challenging the February 12 and February 14 circulars that made FASTag mandatory and also doubled the fee for a single journey as penalty for vehicles not having FASTag, the Indian Express reported.

Advocate Uday Warunjikar, appearing for the petitioner, said the provision of FASTag is creating problems for those not comfortable with technology, and that the authorities have arbitrarily replaced the cash counter or cash lane into FASTag scanner at toll plazas on all national and state highways, leaving no scope for cash payment. The court also asked the Centre if all roads have to be declared as FASTag roads, whether the vehicles not having FASTag will be deemed illegal and cannot ply on those roads.

The bench was informed that other high courts have also dealt with similar petitions and some have been dismissed. “If there are so many petitions, it means there is something. We have to find a simple solution. Singapore got FASTag in 1994, we are in 2021,” the court said.

After the petitioner said the main contention was the fine or the double fee imposed for non-FASTag vehicles, the court asked the Centre to file an affidavit in response to the plea before the next hearing on April 7.

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