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PIL in SC against Railways levying taxes without House nod New Delhi, Mar 16 (PTI) The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a PIL challenging the Government's policy of levying taxes on railway commuters without legislative approval. But, the court said it would take up the issue only if it is not addressed in the on-going Parliament session. The petitioner has pleaded that all such charges imposed on the commuters without the approval of the Parliament should be quashed. A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishanan deferred the hearing on the petition saying it would take up the matter after the Budget session only if it does not come up in Parliament. The PIL, filed by a Coimbatore resident K Kathirmathiyon, alleged that the Centre had been imposing an additional burden on rail commuters by indirectly levying taxes under various heads by way of emergency circulars. This did not have the approval of Parliament. "The collection of crores of rupees without the approval of Parliament by emergency circulars issued deliberately after passing of the railway budget is an abuse of the discretionary power vested with the railways," the petition said. The petitioner also pointed out that the parliamentary standing committee on railways had also deprecated the imposition of additional burden on commuters without the approval of the Parliament. It was alleged in the petition that 93 such circulars were issued last year for levying supplementary, safety and other charges. In 2006, 106 similar circulars were issued. PTI
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