Reliance can fix initial Metro fare: Bombay HC

मुम्बई Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition filed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) challenging a fare hike effected in the recently-opened Mumbai Metro by Mumbai Metro One Pvt. Ltd (MMOPL), a consortium comprising Reliance Infrastructure and Veolia Transport.

Following a tussle on the initial tariff for the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro, the MMRDA filed a petition seeking arbitration and also an injunction to the fare hike notified by the MMOPL.

Justice R. D. Dhanuka made it clear that while the initial fare could be fixed by the MMOPL, any subsequent change would have to be decided by the Fare Fixation Committee (FFC).

The court dismissed the MMRDA’s submission that the Metro fare was already fixed by agreement.

The court observed that despite repeated calls from the MMOPL to the central government, the FFC had not been constituted, the fare for the initial opening of the Metro railway could be fixed only by MMOPL.

The court also directed both the parties to constitute an arbitration tribunal at the earliest and seek speedy disposal of any future disputes.

Nothing illegal about rail fare hike,rules Bombay HC

In an another petition, the Bombay High Court refused to grant interim relief on Tuesday in a petition filed against the Centre’s June 20 decision to increase railway fares.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation petition filed by Mumbai Grahak Panchayat, which sought interim protection or stay against the steep hike.

“The power to hike the fare lies with the Central government as per the Railways Act, 1989. As per the Act, there is no illegality as the decision can be taken without the permission of Parliament. Hence no case of interim relief is made out of it,” said Justice Abhay Oka.