Madras HC orders separate lanes for judges, other VIPs at toll plazas

Fed up with long queues at toll plazas, the Madras High Court today ordered separate lanes for judges, and made it clear that its order is applicable across the country.

Very important persons (VIPs), including judges, will now get a separate lane at toll plazas, thanks to the Madras High Court order. 
On Wednesday, the Madras High Court ordered the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to provide a separate lane for judges and VIPs at toll plazas, because waiting 10 to 15 minutes in queue inconveniences judges and VIPs. 
The order, issued by a high court bench comprising Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and MV Muralidharan, directs NHAI to allow vehicles of judges and VIPs to use the lane earmarked for emergency vehicles. 
“It is very unfortunate that sitting judges are also compelled to wait at toll plazas for 10 to15 minutes (and the issue) has not been taken seriously by the union government and NHAI,” the bench said, adding that it is embarrassing to be stopped at toll plazas to produce identity documents.
It also said that failing to comply with this order of the court will lead to initiation of contempt of court proceedings against the NHAI. The bench also said it would issue show cause notices to those who do not abide by the order
The court then directed the central government and the NHAI to issue circulars to this effect and said that any violation by the NHAI would be taken seriously by the court.
The High Court was hearing a case pertaining to the toll dues payable to NHAI by the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC). Among the petitioners was L&T Krishnagiri Walajahpet Tollway Ltd (L&T KWTL), seeking direction against the Villupuram and Salem divisions of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) Ltd to pay toll fees.
During the proceedings, the bench raised question whether the toll plazas are following the rule that dedicated lanes are to be made for emergency vehicles. The judges expressed contempt at the way the vehicles of judges are treated by the staff at the toll booth.