HC castigates Maharashtra govt over taxi, auto fare hike in Mumbai

Published: Nov 05, 2012, 21:21 IST | PTI |

Bombay High Court on Monday ticked off the Maharashtra Government for not complying with its order to form a multi-member panel to look into recent hike in fares of autorickshaw and taxi saying the state is being held hostage by pressure groups.

"We are thoroughly dissatisfied with the government," a division bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and R G Ketkar observed while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by NGO 'Mumbai Grahak Panchayat' challenging the recent hike in fares based on the recommendations of one-man committee formed by the government. 

The court had on the last hearing said that such an important decision affecting lakhs of commuters can not be taken based on recommendations made by one retired civil servant. The court had directed the government to form another committee comprising several members to look into the fare hike.

The bench was miffed today with the fact that no steps have been taken by the government to comply with its order.

Coming down heavily on government, the bench said the transport secretary was sitting abroad instead of attending to such a serious issue. The bench summoned Transport Secretary Shailesh Sharma, who returned here from abroad yesterday, to remain present in court tomorrow.

"We are concerned. This is not how a government should behave," Justice Chandrachud said. The hike, which came into effect last month, is the steepest that the city has seen. 

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