The Madras High Court on Thursday ordered issue of notice to the State Government on a writ petition seeking to declare various provisions in the newly introduced special rules for regulation and control of school buses as arbitrary and illegal.
A Division Bench, comprising Justices Chitra Venkataraman and R. Karuppiah, said that the notice would be returnable by December 12.
In the petition, the Tamil Nadu Nursery, Primary, Matriculation and Higher Secondary Schools Association, Korattur here, represented by its general secretary K.R. Nandhakumar, stated that provisions in the Motor Vehicles Act and rules already framed applied to public and private vehicles, which included omni buses, stage carriages and vehicles of educational institutions.
The provisions took care of the grant of licence, control over licence suspension, revocation and disqualification. The safety of students travelling in educational institution buses/vans was adequately taken care of.
While so, the impugned rules were published in the Tamil Nadu Government Gazette on September 30. Without considering the objections and suggestions to the draft rules, the authorities had published the rules applicable for school buses.
The association said the new rules were bad. The association members would not be able to operate their buses and vans with such restrictions on driving licences and to comply with the requirement of attendant with conductor’s licence. Conferment of power of testing and inspection of the buses on new committees created is also prima facie illegal.
The new rules were framed on the directions of the High Court, which took suo motu cognisance of the death of a schoolgirl in Chennai after she fell through a hole in the school bus and was run over in July this year.