Clear instructions have now been issued regaring toll exemption to defence personnel and their private vehicles on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway. Reproduced below is a self-explanatory letter sent to the Army, Navy and the Air Force by me on the issue :-
TOLL TAX EXEMPTION GRANTED TO PRIVATE VEHICLES OF
DEFENCE PERSONNEL ON DELHI-GURGAON EXPRESSWAY
1. Please refer to ADG Mov Letter No 12668 / Mov C dated 15 Nov 2007 (Appx A) vide which military establishments were informed about the non-availability of toll exemption to private vehicles of defence personnel on Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway as per the toll notification issued by the Govt on the issue. It was informed vide the said letter that toll exemption would only be granted to defence personnel in uniform (on duty). Please also refer to my earlier detailed Letter No Nav/Toll/Mov/1&2 dated 01 Dec 07 / 01 Feb 08 through which I had attempted to provide the actual position regarding the provisions of the Indian Tolls (Army & Air Force) Act, 1901 and toll exemption to defence personnel and also to clear doubts that emerged from the ibid ADG Mov Letter.
2. As you may be knowing, toll exemption was granted when a case had been taken up by me with the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) leading to the issuance of MoRTH Letter dated 12 Nov 03 (Appx B) ordaining that toll exemption shall be granted to private vehicles of defence personnel irrespective of whether they are on duty or not. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) also had later clearly informed vide their Circular No 81 (Appx C) that they had issued instructions to all concerned that toll exemption under the Indian Tolls (Army & Air Force) Act, 1901, shall be applicable in addition to toll notifications issued by the Govt. The Hon’ble Supreme Court had also in 2006 upheld toll exemption to private vehicles of defence personnel.
3. I had again taken up the issue with the NHAI specially with regard to the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway and you would be glad to know that I have been informed vide NHAI Letter No 11041/131/2007-Admn(Rep)/507 dated 11 Feb 08 (Appx D) that the toll-operator has been duly intimated regarding exemption to defence personnel and their private vehicles on the said highway. The NHAI has also written a detailed letter No NHAI/Tech/Del-Gur/Toll Not/2006/74 dated 25 January 2008 to the toll operator (Appx E) on the issue. It has also been decided in a meeting between Mr Alan Le Raux (Chief Operations Officer of the tollway), NHAI, and military representatives that defence personnel would be granted free passage through the cash lane of the plaza on production of Identity Card. Defence Convoy movement would also be granted free access on intimation atleast 15 minutes in advance. Non-transferable TAGs / Smart Cards may also be issued with unlimited access to defence personnel after the working out the finer modalities.
4. You would also be glad to know that the Ministry had been requested to mention and include exemptions under the Indian Tolls (Army & Air Force) Act, 1901, in all toll notifications. This request has been acceded to and already implemented in recently issued Govt of India Gazette notifications on toll collection. Naval Personnel would be happy to note that such exemptions in the notifications shall carry the stipulation - ‘further extended to Navy’. The case for exemption on Delhi-Noida-Delhi (DND) Flyway remains sub-judice since a Letters Patent Appeal (LPA) against the order of the Delhi High Court on a case filed by a serving Army officer is pending. Toll exemption is being granted on all other Private / Public / State / National roads and bridges in the country.
Advocate, High Court