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The Delhi High Court Friday summoned the city’s transport commissioner for failing to check illegal permits of autorickshaws.

A division bench of acting Chief Justice Madan B.Lokur and Justice Mukta Gupta directed the commissioner to appear personally on Monday.

The court’s direction came in connection with a petition filed by NGO Nyaya Bhoomi alleging that financiers harass drivers and trade in illegal permits.

We (petitioners) are concerned about the illegal trade in permits by financiers of auto-rickshaws as a result of which the market value of the vehicle, along with the permit, has artificially escalated to Rs.500,000 against the official cost of Rs.125,000, the petition said.

Such a high cost has put autorickshaw drivers at risk and their families have virtually become bonded-labourers of financiers. It is also depriving millions of passengers from enjoying an honest, safe and reliable autorickshaw service,” the petition said.

The trade in illegal permits is so rampant that not even a single autorickshaw is sold without attaching a premium on the permit,” counsel for the petitioner said while faulting the transport department for not streamlining the process of giving permits.

Demanding a cap on the permits, the petitioner aid: Only one permit should be issued to one person. Those holding multiple permits should be given one month to surrender excess permits

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