The fitness certificate of six private buses which did not install speed governors was cancelled in the district on Saturday.

This follows inspections carried out by eight Motor Vehicles Department squads in the city and suburbs, in the light of Friday’s accident in Malappuram that claimed 13 lives. Seventy-one buses, including a KSRTC bus were found to have disconnected the speed governor or tampered with the speed-limiting device.

“We issued charge memos against the owners. They will have to rectify defects and produce the buses before the RTO office,” said Jeby Cherian, motor vehicle inspector.

Aimed at reducing the inconvenience of passengers, the teams in the city focussed on buses that halted at Vyttila Mobility Hub, Kaloor bus stand, High Court Junction and Ernakulam South.

To a question on how even owners of ill-maintained buses and those with worn-out tyres received fitness certificate each year, Ernakulam RTO, B. J. Antony said the buses were generally in good condition and fitted with good tyres when they were produced for inspection. “Later, the tyres are replaced with worn out ones. As per Kerala Motor Vehicle Rules, the registered owner is responsible for the mechanical and other defects, if any, of buses. They can even be charged with murder (Section 302 of IPC) if their bus meets with a grave accident because of poor upkeep,” he said.

The Malappuram bus had four worn-out tyres. The vehicle is suspected to have mechanical defects.

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