FASTag does not violate right to free movement: Centre

April 15, 2021 01:40 am | Updated 01:41 am IST - MUMBAI

A Fastag toll booth. File

A Fastag toll booth. File

The Union government recently told the Bombay High Court that making FASTag (electronic toll collection system) mandatory for all vehicles plying on the national highways does not breach a citizen’s fundamental right to freedom of movement in any way.

The government made its stand clear in an affidavit filed on April 6 in a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the decision to make FASTag mandatory at toll plazas on all national highways. It says FASTag was made compulsory to ensure seamless traffic movement and cut travel time short.

All decisions had been taken in accordance with the Central Motor Vehicles (CMV) Rules. In cases where it was not possible to fit vehicles with the tag for any reason, they were permitted to still ply on the extreme left of the FASTag lanes.

“FASTag was not made mandatory overnight and incentives, including a 10 to 25 per cent cashback, were given to users from 2016 to 2020. We amended the CMV Rules in 2017 to make FASTag mandatory for all vehicles sold after December 1, 2017. In November 2020, the CMV rules were further amended to make FASTag compulsory for all vehicles on toll plazas along all national highways, beginning January 1, 2021.”

The Centre went on to say that the double user fees or penalties imposed on vehicles without FASTag on national highways were in accordance with the National Highway Fee (determination of rates and collection) Rules, 2008.

It said the Reserve Bank of India had announced the enhancement of national electronic toll collection and would allow easy payment options, including Unified Payments Interface.

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