The Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu government to ensure that all the auto rickshaws operating in the state are fitted with electronic meters in working condition.

The Court had also directed the government to revise the fares/rates of the auto-rickshaws, periodically, looking to the fluctuation of the rates of petrol and diesel.

"...periodically, checks should be conducted by the Police and Transport Departments to find out as to whether the auto-rickshaw is being operated with meters or not, and for that, if any complaint is made, then immediate action should be taken on it", the Court directed.

The GO issued in August, 2013 shall be complied with, the Bench of Chief Justice M N Bhandari and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy directed.

The Bench passed the directions in a PIL filed by Advocate S V Ramamurthy. The petition prayed for a direction to the government to implement the 2013 GO of the Home department, which had been passed on the basis of the status affidavit of the State Chief Secretary filed in the Supreme Court in a similar case filed in 2012. It is in regard to the installation of the meters in the autorickshaws, so that the passengers may not be cheated in terms of fare and autos should move on the meter reading.

The Bench directed the State to revise the fares/rates of the autorickshaws, periodically in accordance with the fluctuation of the rates of petrol and diesel. A mechanism for revision of rate to the benefit of the autorickshaw holders and also the public and passenger may be evolved by the government in an appropriate manner.

The Court also directed that the state to take further steps for installing GPS in the auto-rickshaws in a composite manner is concerned, "so that with the application of GPS, even the passengers would be benefited".

"Whenever an auto-rickshaw holder is caught for not using the meter, the action is taken", the Advocate General R.Shanmugasundaram submitted for the state. The Petitioner appeared in person.

Click here to read/download Order

With PTI inputs