Free Press Journal

HC allows consumer body to challenge auto fare hike in Mumbai


Taxi Fare Hike

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today allowed the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat, a prominent consumer rights body, to challenge Maharashtra government’s recent decision to hike fares of auto rickshaws and taxis for the city and neighbouring Thane and Navi Mumbai.

A division bench, headed by Justice Abhay Oka, adjourned the hearing to July 28, stating that MGP, which had opposed a hike through a PIL two years ago, can amend it to challenge the latest (proposed) hike.

The High Court is currently hearing a petition filed by Mumbai Taximen’s Union, which wants a court’s direction to the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Transport Authority (MMRTA) to implement its decision to effect a hike.

MMRTA has proposed a Rs 2 increase for both rickshaws and taxis. Accordingly, the minimum fare of auto rickshaw would go up from Rs 15 to Rs 17, while that for taxi would increase from Rs 19 to Rs 21.

The court has yet to approve it.

MGP had moved the court two years ago on the issue of fare hike, following which the court asked the government to form a committee to look into issue.

The HC had then ruled that in future fare hikes by MMRTA shall not be implemented without the court’s permission.

MGP’s lawyer Uday Warunjikar has opposed the hike saying that quality of service offered by auto rickshaws and taxis is extremely poor and the hike should be avoided when inflation is raging.