High court relief for auto drivers

The Delhi High Court Tuesday stayed the Delhi government’s notification demanding Rs.15,000 from auto drivers plying in the national capital for installing GPS systems.

Justice Indermeet Kaur in an interim order stayed till May 27 the government’s decision to charge the money from each auto driver at the time of installing the system.

Justice Kaur also issued notice to the Delhi government seeking its reply within two weeks.

“The compulsion to pay the amount should be removed from the notification,” the court said, saying that auto drivers are daily wage earners it would harm their livelihood.

The court made it clear that the order would be applicable only on auto drivers who have approached the high court, which means the transport department cannot take action against the petitioner for plying the auto without GPS system till the court’s further order.

The government’s notification came into force April 16.

Filing a batch of petitions through counsel Praveen Aggarwal, about 200 auto drivers contended that the government’s decision was a violation of their fundamental right of livelihood.

The counsel Tuesday submitted before the court that the government has a vested interest in DIMTS (Delhi Integrated Multi-model Transit System), the company selling the GPS systems costing Rs.15,000. “We get the same product elsewhere for Rs.3,000-5,000. But the government is forcing us to buy the expensive model,” he said and sought the court to quash the notification clause which demands the money.

On March 17, the city government has issued a notification which authorized the government to collect the money for setting up a Control Centre Room for installing GPS/GPRS on the vehicle for better service, security and customer convenience.

The court fixed May 27 as the next date of hearing the matter