The Delhi High Court on Wednesday dismissed a civil writ petition that challenged the Aam Aadmi Party government’s proposal to make metro rides free for women, PTI reported. The court said there was no substance in the petition, and penalised the petitioner Rs 10,000.
The government’s counsel told the court that the policy was still being mulled over, and hence it would be premature to dispute it. The bench, comprising Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar, said it rested upon the Delhi government to provide fare exemptions to a certain section of the consumers after factoring in all the circumstances, Live Law reported.
The petitioner also sought a reduction in fares of the Delhi Metro. But the court said price fixation was a “statutory function” under Section 33 of the Metro Railways Act, 2002. “Fixation of fares is a statutory provision and it depends on several factors, including cost, which cannot be determined in a PIL [public interest litigation],” the judges added.
The petitioner pointed out that the Fare Fixation Committee of 2009 had suggested the introduction of 15 slabs, ranging between Rs 8 and Rs 30, as opposed to the existing six slabs that are reportedly more expensive. The petitioner also argued that the reduction in fare would help increase footfall, which would eventually reduce air pollution and traffic congestion.