The Madras high court, on Wednesday, passed on a message to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) that to create separate lanes for VIPs at all the toll plazas on the national highways or face contempt of court proceedings.
According to senior judges, it is really embarrassing for the VIPs including sitting judges to have to wait at toll plazas and show identity documents, a division bench of Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and Justice M V Muralidharan explained the matter.
“Serious note should be taken throughout the country to provide separate lanes (at toll plazas) for vehicles of VIPs including sitting judges,” the bench said, pointing the Centre and NHAI to pass on this information to this cause.
“A circular may be issued to each toll collector to provide a separate lane for VIPs’ and sitting judges’ vehicles, the judges said. Also, the toll collectors should make sure that no vehicle other than VIPs including sitting judges should be permitted to use these special lanes. “Any violation of the order by NHAI will be viewed seriously.”
The judges added that”It is disheartening to note that vehicles of VIPs and sitting judges are stopped at toll plazas (for the occupants to present) identity documents, causing a lot of embarrassment.”
“It is very unfortunate that sitting judges are also compelled to wait at toll plazas for 10 to 15 minutes (and that this issue) has not been taken seriously by the Union government and NHAI.”
Adding further hearing of the case to four weeks from Wednesday, the judges added that, “People maintaining toll plazas shall not indulge in controversy (regarding) VIPs’ and sitting judges’ vehicles without understanding the ramifications.”