The court also rejected the prayer in the petition seeking reduction of fares and to make 15 slabs of the ticket price instead of existing six.
NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Wednesday dismissed a petition challenging the AAP government’s proposal to make metro ride free for women, saying it is for the authorities to decide on giving concession to a particular class. A two-judge bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice C. Hari Shankar refused to entertain the plea, saying there is no substance in it and imposed a cost of Rs 10,000 on the petitioner to be deposited within four weeks.
The court also rejected the prayer in the petition seeking reduction of fares and to make 15 slabs of the ticket price instead of existing six. “Fixation of fares is a statutory function and the process of fixation is complex which involves consideration of several factors, including cost. All these factors cannot be determined in a PIL,” the bench said.
It said the petitioner, advocate Bipin Bihari Singh, has failed to point out any illegality in fixation of fares and added that the court will be “extremely slow” in fixing the fares for Delhi Metro which is the prerogative of the government. With Assembly polls due early next year in the city, the Aam Aadmi Party government in June announced that it has proposed to make Metro and bus travels free for women in Delhi “to encourage them to use public transport”.
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had said the Delhi government will bear the travel expenses of women. The court also noted that two similar petitions relating to Delhi. Metro fares were filed earlier as well and they were not entertained either. “We are not inclined to give any direction, much less in the nature of mandamus to respondents No. 1 to 3 (Delhi government, Union of India and DMRC) on fixation of fares which prevailing today,” the bench said.