HC summons transport official for flouting rules

Forum of parents, teachers files PIL

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday summoned the additional transport commissioner for permitting three-wheelers and vans with seating capacity of less than 13 to operate as school buses in the city.

A Division Bench of Justices Naresh Patil and G.S. Kulkarni was hearing a PIL filed by Parents Teachers Associations United Forum in 2016. The petition states that transport authorities have been granting permits to vans without insisting on an agreement between the school and the operator. It also stated that drivers of such vehicles often do not have the required minimum experience.

The petition pointed out that a Government of India notification dated September 8, 2016, had laid out that the minimum seating capacity of vehicles carrying school children should not be less than 13, excluding the driver.

Advocate Rama Subramanium informed the court that the forum had found that 250 vehicles were plying and transporting school children in banned light motor vehicles that had less than 13 seats.

Ms. Subramanium said the transport department had issued a circular on May 19 that allowed vehicles without 13 seats to ply as school buses.

The Bench said, “This resolution nullifies this court’s previous orders. What was the rationale behind permitting these vehicles to ply as school buses? Let the concerned officer remain present before us and explain.”

(With PTI inputs)

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 3:56:29 PM |

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