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Court that checks on illegal permits can be done when only banks are allowed to finance the three-wheelers operating in the capital 

Appearing before the division bench of acting Chief Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Mukta Gupta, Transport Commissioner R.K. Verma said that because a number of private financers were operating in the city, illegal trading in permits was going on.

The transport department has sent a proposal to the central government that only banks be allowed to finance the purchase of autorickshaws, he added.

The court was hearing a petition of NGO Nyaya Bhoomi which alleged that financers harass drivers and trade in illegal permits.

“We (petitioners) are concerned about the illegal trade in permits by financers of autorickshaws, 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 financers. 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 said: “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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