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The Delhi High Court today sought the reply of the city government's transport department on a plea alleging blackmarketing of new auto permits in the national capital. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also sought responses from the CBI and Delhi Police on the application which alleges that the permits for the new 10,000 autos were being given for Rs three lakh and asked them to file their replies by April 24. The application has been filed by social activist Rakesh Agarwal for action against the authorities who were allegedly involved in the corrupt practice of selling auto permits in black. The petitioner said that to abide by the 2011 permission of the Supreme Court to increase the three-wheeler scooter rickshaws (TSRs) by 45,000, the Delhi transport department had initially registered 35,000 autorickshaws and another 10,000 were in the process of being registered. "Wholesale corruption took place in the issuance of permits for the 35,000 autorickshaws.
The law was brazenly flouted and permits were deliberately issued in an arbitrary manner in order to benefit the autorickshaw-finance-mafia. "As a result, at least 80 per cent of the permits landed in the hands of auto-finance-mafia," the plea has claimed. The plea said when an autorickshaw driver is forced to pay artificially increased price for the purchase of the vehicle or increased rent, he passes on the additional cost to the consumer by overcharging them. "Refusal is also resorted to in order to maximise and optimise earnings," it added.
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