The Madras High Court on Wednesday dismissed bail petitions filed by N. Vijayan, correspondent of the Zion Group of Schools at Selaiyur near here and P. Rajasekaran, Motor Vehicles Inspector (MVI), Tambaram, in the Sruthi case.
Justice G.M. Akbar Ali said that Mr. Vijayan’s main responsibility was to ensure proper maintenance of the school vehicles and ensure that the students were not exposed to danger.
The gaping hole on the floor of the school bus had been brought to his notice, but he did not take action.
As far as the MVI was concerned, it was a blatant lie to say that he did not notice the hole in the bus when it came for fitness check.
He might have ignored it after having seen the hole covered by a plank or might not have inspected the vehicle before issuing the certificate. Citing a Supreme Court decision, Mr. Justice Akbar Ali said he was satisfied that the nature of the accusation, gravity of offence and severity of punishment in the present case fell under Section 304 (ii) IPC.
The petitioners were negligent and proceeded with the knowledge that their actions were likely to cause death.
The petitioners were influential and there was a reasonable apprehension that they might influence witnesses if released on bail, though they may not flee from justice.
Looking at the gravity of the offence, where an innocent seven-year old child lost her life for no fault of hers, the Judge said that in his considered view, each and every one who had the knowledge about the death trap should be faulted.
Considering the gravity of the offence, the petitioners could not plead innocence, he said, and dismissed the plea.