National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has been directed by Madras High Court to provide a separate lane at all the toll plazas for VIPs, which includes sitting judges across the country. The Madras High Court bench led by justices Huluvadi G Ramesh and M V Muralidharan also passed interim orders to NHAI telling it to issue circulars to all toll plazas to provide separate lane so that vehicles of VIPs and sitting judges can pass through without any hindrance. However, the VIP lane at the toll plaza will allow access to only judges, top-ministers and emergency vehicles like ambulances.
The justices further said that "It is disheartening to note that the vehicles of VIPs and sitting Judges are stopped at toll plazas. It is very unfortunate that sitting judges are also compelled to wait in the toll plaza for 10 to 15 minutes." If this order is not taken seriously then the Madras High Court further warned that the it would issue a show cause notice to authorities concerned unless the circular was issued and any violation of the order would be taken up seriously.
The bench was hearing a batch petition related to toll plazas, including a plea by the L&T Krishnagiri-Wallajapet Tollway Limited seeking a direction to the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation Limited's Villupuram and Salem divisions to pay the user fee. Unless a separate lane was formed at every toll plaza for VIPs, there would be unnecessary harassment, it said posting the matter after four weeks. Earlier, there were reports that if the waiting time at toll booths are over 3 minutes then the travel would be free, which was rejected by NHAI.