Challenges validity of Rule 3 of National Highways Rules, 2008

T.S.R. Venkataramana, a former Member of Legislative Assembly representing Tenkasi constituency, has filed a public interest litigation petition in the Madras High Court Bench here challenging the constitutional validity of Rule 3 of the National Highways (determination of rate and collection) Rules, 2008, which does not exempt four-wheelers from paying toll even if they happened to use the newly-laid four- lane highways only for a short distance to reach other connecting roads. The petitioner has also sought for a direction to the Competition Commission, established under the Competition Act to prevent practices having adverse effect on competition and to protect the interests of consumers, in New Delhi to enquire into the “abuse of dominant position by National Highways Authority of India in collecting toll at sections of highways where there is no alternative road or service road to go to town within 10 km of a toll plaza.”

The other plea of the petitioner included relocation of a toll plaza at Kappalur near here as even vehicle owners who use National Highway 7 only for a very short distance to go from Madurai to Tirumangalam were forced to pay the toll. He claimed that once the employees of a private company that had been given charge of collecting toll at the plaza had allowed him to pass without payment of toll only after video recording of his former MLA identity card.

Other plea of the petitioner included relocation of a toll plaza at Kappalur

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