High Court agrees with govt on GPS in autos

Delhi government’s move to equip all city auto-rickshaws with GPS devices and receipt printing machines received the Delhi High Court’s backing on Monday,as it dismissed a petition filed by more than 400 auto drivers and owners.

Written by Jayant Sriram | New Delhi | Published: September 18, 2012 1:12 am

Delhi government’s move to equip all city auto-rickshaws with GPS devices and receipt printing machines received the Delhi High Court’s backing on Monday,as it dismissed a petition filed by more than 400 auto drivers and owners.

The plea opposed State Transport Authority’s instructions to install the devices.

“We do not see anything wrong in requiring the auto-rickshaws to be GPS/GPRS and printer fitted. Any inhabitant of Delhi would vouch for the infamy of the auto-rickshaw drivers. They are not only known to overcharge,but also to take longer routes for their own benefit… Installation of GPS/GPRS would create a proof/evidence of the route taken,” the court said.

Last year,the Transport department had issued revised terms and conditions for granting of permits for autos. These included a series of safety measures for passengers,such as need for GPS device,printed receipts and a ‘panic button’ near the passenger seat.

In their petitions,the auto drivers argued that they could not be forced to pay for GPS installation as they are daily wage earners. They said the installation charge was too high as GPS devices were available in the market for as low as Rs 5,000.

The court accepted government’s argument that the policy was meant to monitor the movement of autos to ensure security of commuters,particularly of women,children and elders. It also accepted government’s contention that the same policy would be adopted for taxis as well.

“We do not find anything wrong in the decision of the respondent STA to (ensure) each auto-rickshaw (has) GPS/GPRS and printing devices,to regulate their plying,” the court said.

The court also took note of Delhi government counsel Najmi Waziri’s argument that the installation charge has been reduced from Rs 15,000 to Rs 7,500.

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