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Bengaluru man charged Rs 10 extra on FASTag, drags NHAI to court gets Rs 8000 as compensation

May,10:Imagine you are driving down a national highway in India, minding your own business, and suddenly you realize that your FASTag account has been charged five extra rupees not once, but twice!

That’s exactly what happened to Santosh Kumar MB, a Bengalurean who was not about to take this lying down. Even though Rs 10 is not an amount you should cry a river over, Kumar dragged the NHAI to court for charging him extra. The court’s order was in his favour and he was also given a lot of money as compensation. Something that you cannot expect to get in return of Rs 10.

As per TOI report, in 2020, Santosh Kumar MB, aged 38 and hailing from Gandhinagar, drove his vehicle on a particular section of a national highway located within the Chitradurga limits on two separate occasions – February 20 and May 16. He was surprised to discover that the FASTag system, which is an electronic toll collection system implemented by the transport ministry, had deducted Rs 40 for each toll point instead of the expected Rs 35. This resulted in an extra deduction of Rs 5 on both instances when he passed through the toll points on the road.

Kumar ran door to door to get back the extra money that he was charged on FASTag but his efforts went in vain. after attempting to rectify the mistake with NHAI authorities and the project director, he took matters into his own hands and sued NHAI, the project director in Chitradurga, and even the manager of JAS Toll Road Company Ltd in Nagpur.

Despite NHAI representatives failing to appear, and JAS company representatives filing their version beyond the court-stipulated window of 45 days, an attorney appeared on behalf of the project director of NHAI and argued that the FASTag system was designed, developed, and configured by the National Payments Corporation of India. Furthermore, they stated that the toll fee for cars was actually Rs 38 and LCV was Rs 66 as of July 1, 2020. However, NHAI had issued a circular on April 6, 2018, amending the collected fee to be rounded off to the nearest Rs 5, as per the report.

This made the fee for cars Rs 35 and LCV Rs 65, and according to the advocate, the fee deducted was as per the rules. So, the attorney sought dismissal of the case.

But, despite the tough defense, Santosh Kumar MB emerged victorious. The consumer court ordered the agency to refund the excess toll fee collected and pay him a compensation of Rs 8,000. Now, that’s how you get things done. Getting Rs 8000 in return of Rs 10 is a deal that everyone wishes to get, but we cannot undermine Kumar’s efforts in getting his money back.

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