NHAI Exempting Lawyers From Paying Toll Tax? Letter is Fake!
A letter is doing the round on WhatsApp claiming that Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) has exempted lawyers across India from paying charges at toll plazas.
The letter, dated 3 December, is addressed to Advocate Ravi Gowda and has been purportedly issued by IAS Officer and Private Secretary to Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Sanket Bhondve.
The letter reads: “As per your letter dated 1 December 2019, I am directed to inform that all lawyers of all the states in India are permanently exempted from paying toll charges in all tolls. Lawyers ID to be shown.”
The Quint received a query on the claim made in the letter via its WhatsApp helpline.
Several Twitter users also claimed that lawyers have been exempted from paying user charges at toll plazas.
WHAT’S THE TRUTH?
The National Highways Authority of India issued a clarification on Wednesday, 11 December, stating that advocates are not exempted from paying user fee at NH Fee toll plazas.
But, did Bhondve ever write a letter to advocates regarding the same?
Yes. An article published in The Times of India on Wednesday mentioned that in a reply to lawyers seeking exemption from paying toll charges at national highways, Bhondve wrote a letter on 3 December to advocate R Baskaradoss. The reply mentioned that the letter written by Baskaradoss had been forwarded to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.
“Your letter has been forwarded to the chairman, National Highways Authority of India for taking necessary action,” read Bhondve’s reply to the advocate, as per the report.
(With inputs from The Times of India)
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