Chennai: Madras high court has directed the Central Government and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to issue circular to form separate lane for vehicles of VIPs, including sitting judges, to pass through toll plaza on highways.
The second division bench comprising Justices Huluvadi G. Ramesh and MV Muralidharan, before which a batch of petitions came up for hearing on Wednesday, said unless at every toll a separate lane is formed or provided for VIPs including the sitting judges there will be unnecessary harassment and it is nothing but contempt on the part of NHAI.
The bench said, “a serious note to be taken throughout country to provide separate lane to the vehicles of VIPs including sitting judges to pass through separate lane and a circular to the above effect has to be issued by NHAI and the central government.”
It is disheartening to note that vehicles of VIP and sitting judges are stopped at the toll to show the identity causing lot of embarrassment without there being a separate lane in the toll plaza. It is very unfortunate that the sitting judges are also compelled to wait in the toll for about 10 to 15 minutes which has not been taken seriously by the Union Government as well as by the NHAI, the bench said.
The bench made it clear that clear that a showcause notice will be issued to the authorities concerned unless a circular is issued to all toll plazas to provide a separate lane for the passing of the VIP and sitting judges vehicles without any hindrance and any violation of the order by National Highways Authority will be viewed seriously.
The judges further said that persons maintaining the toll plazas shall not indulge in controversy with the VIPs and sitting judges’ vehicles without understanding the ramifications.
The bench said, “A circular may be issued to each of toll collectors to provide separate lane for passing of VIP and sitting judges vehicles and also to see that no other vehicles other than the above are allowed in that separate lane formed or provided for passing of VIPs and sitting judges’ vehicles. Any violation of the order by NHAI will be viewed seriously.” The bench posted the matter after four weeks.
The bench passed the interim order on a batch petitions including one from L&T Krishnagiri - Wallajapet Tollway Limited, for a direction to Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (Villupuram) Limited, and TNSTC Salem division to pay the toll user fee....