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HC gives government ‘go ahead’ to hike taxi, auto fares

The Bombay High Court refused to interfere in Maharashtra Government’s move to hike fares of taxis and auto rickshaws based on the recommendation of the now-scrapped Hakim Committee.

The high court order meant that government can start from tomorrow the process of recalibration of e-meters of autos and taxis in Mumbai and its metropolitan region.

A division bench of justices N H Patil and S B Shukre rejected the interim relief sought by consumer body ‘Mumbai Grahak Panchayat’ to stay the proposed hike until the newly-formed panel, to be headed by a retired high court judge, submitted its report.

The consumer body had also raised objections to the recommendations of the Hakim Committee in the past.

“The state government has already taken a decision and has also appointed a new committee to look into the Hakim committee report. We are not inclined to interfere at this stage. Interim relief sought is rejected,” the court said.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Road Transport Authority (MMRTA) had on May 11 proposed a hike in the basic fare for auto rickshaws and taxis based on the recommendation of the erstwhile Hakim panel.

The minimum fare for autos is expected to go up from Rs 17 to Rs 18 while taxi fare is likely to go up from the minimum Rs 21 to Rs 22.

The government had approached the HC seeking approval for the proposed raise.

The court’s approval was required as a PIL was earlier filed by the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat challenging the recommendations of the Hakim committee.

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