A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and justice M S Sonak said, "If you (Central government) do not form the committee by then, we will decide on the issue and consider whether they (MMOPL) should be allowed to collect the fares which they are currently charging."


On the last hearing, the high court had asked Centre to file its affidavit by September 18 and inform the steps being taken by it for the formation of FFC. However, the counsel for the union government sought more time to file the affidavit, which irked the court. During the hearing in July, the High Court had asked the government to clear its stand on the FFC.


"If the Fare Fixation Committee is not appointed and the Centre does not take a decision (of FFC's appointment) till November 30, the court will consider the prayer on behalf of Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) for fare collection," the HC had observed.


Lawyers appearing for RInfra and MMOPL (a joint venture between RInfra and MMRDA), had informed the HC that they would continue the promotional fares of Rs 10, Rs 15 and Rs 20 till December 31. MMOPL had initially agreed to charge promotional fares till July 31, which was then extended to September 30 and now December 31.


The HC is hearing an appeal filed by MMRDA, challenging the previous single-bench order of the HC denying the state government the right to decide fares of the recently launched Mumbai Metro. MMRDA had previously challenged the fare hike announced by Reliance Infra.


Justice R D Dhanuka had last month dismissed MMRDA's petition on the grounds that MMOPL had the right to decide the initial fares till the Fare Fixation Committee arrived at a figure. RInfra and MMOPL contended that despite their communication to the concerned authorities in November 2013, the FFC has not been set up as yet.


According to MMRDA, the consortium had agreed on the structure under which fares were to be Rs 9 (up to 3 kms), Rs 11 (from 3 to 8 kms) and Rs 13 (for more than 8 kms). MMOPL has, however, fixed the initial fares as Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 30 and Rs 40.


The single judge while refusing to stay the metro fares had observed: "Perusal of the agreement (between the parties), indicates that the MMOPL is empowered to fix the fares till decided by the FFC. Prima facie, the fares at the time of opening is to be fixed by respondent 3 (MMOPL) and not by the state government."

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