The Madras High Court Monday directed the Tamil Nadu Government to take action against those indulging in unauthorised collection of toll and parking fee in all municipal and other areas.
Justice R Mahadevan directed the government to instruct district collectors to conduct an inspection to ascertain whether such fee was being levied and take action against unauthorised collection.
He made it clear that any lapse on the part of the district officials, including the Collector and the Superintendent of Police, in taking action against erring persons or officials would be viewed seriously.
The Judge was disposing of a petition by the hereditary managing trustee of Om Sri Bhavani Amman temple at Periyapalayam in neighbouring Tiruvallur district.
The petitioner alleged illegal collection of toll and parking charges for vehicles entering or passing through the Periyapalayam Village by a contractor.
He submitted the contractor who was awarded the contract for collection of parking charges during festival period by the temple was continuing to charge exorbitant rates beyond it and even collected toll for vehilces passing through Periyapalayam.
The amount collected did not go to the Panchayat Union Council, the petitioner claimed and sought a direction to the authorities to restrain the contractor from collection of any fee unauthorisedly.
Justice Mahadevan observed none of the acts related to muncipalities and panchayats and the town and country planning provided for collection of tolls for the vehicles entering the area under the control of the local bodies.
Only under the Indian Tolls Act, 1851, as amended by the state governments, tolls can be collected by the state, that too, by the prescribed procedures as per the act.
He posted the matter after 12 weeks for compliance.
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