Supreme Court: Free rides to women will cause losses for Delhi Metro

Updated: Sep 07, 2019, 08:38 IST | Agencies

The Delhi government was sharply criticised by the Supreme Court which questioned it for giving 'freebies and 'sops' as 'it is public money'

Supreme Court: Free rides to women will cause losses for Delhi Metro
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said his government proposed to make Metro and bus travel free for women in the national capital. File pic

The Delhi government's ambitious proposal to make Metro travel free for women came under sharp criticism from the Supreme Court on Friday, as it questioned it for giving "freebies" and "sops," saying it might lead the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to losses.

The Delhi government should refrain from giving freebies from "public money", the apex court said and warned that it would stop them from doing so as courts are not "powerless".

"If you will allow people to travel for free, then the Delhi Metro may go into loss. If you will give freebies, we will stop you. You are fighting for a cause here and you want them to incur a loss. Do not give sops, it is public money," a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta told the lawyer appearing for the Delhi government.

"Why you want to destroy the Delhi Metro," the bench said, adding, "Can you give sops and say that Union of India should bear the cost?"

However, the apex court accepted the submissions of the Delhi government and directed that the land cost for the phase-IV project would be borne by the Centre and the Delhi government equally, in 50:50 ratio.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in June that his government proposed to make Metro and bus travel free for women in the national capital and the plan would be implemented within two-three months.

The move by Delhi government came ahead of the Assembly election scheduled early next year.

Also Read: Supreme Court to Delhi government: Avoid steps that may cause loss to Metro

During the hearing, the top court said the Delhi government should not channelise its funds in this way.

"What you handle is public money and public trust," the bench said, adding, "Do not think that courts are powerless".

However, the counsel appearing for Delhi government said the proposal has not been implemented yet.

Rs 46,845cr
Cost of phase-IV of the Metro

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