New Delhi, Jun 4 (PTI) When everyone is doing charity during the COVID time, you are making money out of it, the Delhi High Court on Friday said to two Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) of Sainik Farms here which were charging entry fees from vehicles entering the colony.
'You (RWAs) have to step up during these COVID times. How can you charge entry fees during these times? Everyone is doing charity, but you are using COVID-19 to extract money.
'People are not even earning. You are making money out of this. Very nice,' Justice Rekha Palli said to the two RWAs and directed them not to charge entry fees from anyone coming to the colony during these times.
The court also directed that taxi and auto rickshaws, being used by residents of the area, as well as vegetable and fruit sellers will also not be charged entry fees.
The RWAs also gave a statement before the court that they would not be charging emergency service vehicles, those carrying essential items or medicines and even e-commerce delivery vehicles carrying groceries and other amenities.
Meanwhile, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and the Delhi Police told the court that the two RWAs put up the gates and were charging fees without their permission.
The RWAs contended that the road was a private one constructed out of their private lands and since SDMC has 'washed off' its hands from repairing their roads, they were charging the entry fees for maintaining their roads.
The court said that while the RWAs might have a point when the situation was normal, but not during the pandemic.
'I am not convinced at all,' Justice Palli said and added that for maintaining the roads, the RWAs were getting subscriptions from its members.
The court posted the matter for August 12.
On May 19, the court had asked the SDMC and police how the two RWAs were charging entry fees from vehicles without permission from the authorities.
The court was hearing a plea by a resident of the colony who has claimed that entry fees was being charged from all commercial vehicles, ambulances and those transporting oxygen cylinders for use by patients.
The petitioner had told the court that this was causing hardship to residents there especially those who need ambulance services or oxygen cylinders. PTI HMP HMP RKS RKS