A day after the Allahabad High Court ruled that commuters using the Delhi Noida Direct (DND) flyway will not have to pay toll to cross the bridge, the toll company operating the flyway has moved the Supreme Court. The Noida Toll Bridge Company Limited (NTBCL) has appealed to the top court against the High Court ruling.
On Wednesday, a bench of Justice Arun Tandon and Justice Sunita Agrawal held that the concession agreement between the government and the concessionaire company IL&FS was “unfair.” The ruling came in response to a PIL filed by the Federation Of Noida Resident Welfare Association. The high court bench said since the NTBCL had “recovered all reasonable returns” from the bridge, it had no right to charge toll on the bridge.
“The concessionaire, according to their own financial statements, has recovered Rs 810.18 crore (approximately) from toll income till 31.3.2014 and after deduction of O&M expenses and corporate income tax, the surplus was Rs 578.80 crores… They have further realised user toll two and half years thereafter, which comes up to around Rs 300 crore…” the bench held on Wednesday.
The court also struck down the relevant section of the agreement by which the toll company was calculating its costs and amount recoverable from user fee.
The company, in a statement on Wednesday said, “The judgment has held the two provisions relating to levy and collection of fee to be inoperative and has directed the company to stop collecting user fee. In compliance, the firm has stopped collection of toll. But an appeal will be filed in the Supreme Court.”