The Delhi High Court Friday granted one last opportunity to the Delhi government to release assistance package of ₹5,000 each to eligible drivers of auto rickshaws, e-rickshaws and Gramin sewa, who have not yet received the amount.
A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad, which conducted the hearing through video conferencing, said already enough time has been granted to the Transport Department to release the assistance package which was announced by the authorities in early April and it is the end of May.
The high court granted 10 days time to the Transport Department to clear the balance list by depositing a sum of ₹5,000 into bank accounts of the eligible non-chip public service vehicle (PSV) badge holders, whose grievance has been raised in the petition.
The high court passed the order on a public interest litigation (PIL) by NGO, Nayee Soch Society, seeking directions to the department to provide a one time financial benefit of ₹5,000 to life time PSV badge holders.
“We are of the opinion that already enough time has been taken by the Transport Department to release the assistance package as the scheme was announced in early April, 2020 and now, it is already end of May, 2020. There was enough time for the Department to have processed all the applications and released the funds to those who were eligible," the bench said and disposed of the petition.
The plea said that on April 2, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced a one-time relief assistance package of ₹5,000 to auto rickshaw, e-rickshaw and Gramin sewa vehicle drivers as a compensation for the loss that they would suffer on account of the lockdown declared by the government due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
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It said that after waiting for a considerable time, the NGO gave a representation to the department on April 25 stating that the promised financial assistance has not been received by the drivers and they are facing hardship. When no effective reply was received, the petition was filed.
It alleged that the authorities were discriminating between PSV badge holders who have a chip fixed in their badges vis-a-vis those who do not have a chip.
The Transport Department's counsel told the court that out of 11,780 eligible applicants, ₹5,000 has already been deposited directly in the bank accounts of 4,835 persons and the remaining list will be cleared in 15 days.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.