SC rejects civic body’s toll plea
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Gurgaon expressway to continue as toll-free till September 15; approach HC first, South corporation told
The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused relief to the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), which had approached it seeking a stay on the order of Punjab and Haryana High Court restricting toll collection on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway for 15 days.
A bench of justices D K Jain and Madan B Lokur rejected the SDMC's plea that the interim order be stayed as it was losing nearly Rs 25 lakh in toll every day.
The bench, however, empathised with the civic agency over its revenue loss, but said they could not pass any interim order since the civic body should have argued its case in the High Court first.
"We are with you (on loss of revenue) but you should have approached the Chandigarh High Court. The impugned order was passed by the High Court on September 4. Why did you let so many days pass before you challenged this? You should have moved there," the bench said.
Senior advocate Ravi Shankar Prasad, appearing for the SDMC, said the civic body was not a party in the case before the Punjab and Haryana HC and the order was passed "behind their back" even though they were a stakeholder in the toll collection.
"This order is also in complete breach of a directive of the Supreme Court, which says no commercial vehicle will enter Delhi without paying the requisite toll. Moreover, the same issue, which involves the expressway concessionaire and the NHAI, is also pending before the Delhi High Court. How could Punjab and Haryana HC issue such order?" the counsel said.
The fervent pleas, however, failed to impress the bench.
"You don't have a copy of the HC order. How can we interfere like this? We are sure that the HC will pass appropriate orders provided you go there and bring to their notice all your arguments," the bench said.
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