In a relief to commuters, the Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay Allahabad High Court’s order that declared DND flyway toll free on Wednesday. The apex court also indicated that it’ll appoint an auditor or ask Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to audit NTBCL accounts. The court will now pass the order after Court’s Diwali vacation after November 6. Earlier on Wednesday, the Allahabad HC bench of Justice Arun Tandon and Justice Sunita Agrawal heard a PIL filed by the Federation of Noida Resident Welfare Association in 2012, challenging the levy and collection of toll in the name of user fee by the company. The court observed that further collection of toll was illegal and directed the state government to ensure that it was not levied any further.
The company had argued that it had not been able to recover the total cost of project and returns, which includes a provision that the company will recover 20 per cent of total project cost per year from user fee. The High Court had, however, observed that since the amount of operation and maintenance costs were “ever increasing”, the method of calculation of the total project cost was “arbitrary and opposed to public policy”. The High Court had also struck down the relevant section of the agreement by which the company was calculating its costs and amount recoverable from user fee.