The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Allahabad High Court’s order of stopping the toll tax on the 9.2 km long DND flyway and said that no toll was to be collected till further orders. The Noida Toll Bridge company had earlier filed a plea against the Allahabad High Court’s order. The Supreme Court said that it would verify the profit account of the company which has to be audited by CAG or an independent auditor see if the profit was recovered or not.
The SC bench comprising of justices AR Dave, RK Agarwal and AM Khanwilkar had earlier agreed to hear the appeal of the toll company following advocate Shyam Divan seeking an urgent hearing on the issue. Earlier the Allahabad High Court had ruled on Wednesday that no toll would be collected from the 9.2 km-long highway. The order had been passed by the high court after a PIL was filed by the Federation of Noida Residents’Welfare Association. The PIL had been filed in 2012 and had challenged the levy and toll collection under the guise of user fee by the Noida Toll Bridge Company.
The court had pronounced a 100-page judgement where it had said that the “user fee which is being levied/realised is not supported by the legal provisions relied upon by the Concessionaire (Noida Toll Bridge Company), Infrastructure Leaning and Financial Services (promoter and developer of the project) and the Noida Authority.” The court had noted that according to their own financial statements, the Noida Toll Bride Company had recovered approximately Rs 810.18 crore as taxes from the date of the inception of the project till March 31, 2014. The court also said that after the deduction of all the operational and maintenance expenses and the corporate income tax, the profit still came up to Rs 578.80 crore. The High court had further stated that the Noida Toll Bridge company had further collected toll for the next two and a half years between April 1, 2014, to September 30, 2016, which had amounted to an additional amount of approximately Rs 300 crore. The Allahabad High Court said that it seemed satisfied that the company need not collect any more toll taxes from the DND flyover.