The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the AAP government how it will ensure that conductors of DTC and cluster buses go to passengers to issue tickets as against the prevalent practice of people going to them.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao said that in the agreement between the Delhi government and the cluster bus operators, there is a clause which provides that conductors have to go to each passenger and issue them a ticket.
The court asked the government how it will ensure implementation of this clause in cluster and Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses where conductors are seen sitting in their seats and passengers go to them to buy the tickets.
The issue was raised before the court in a PIL by Delhi resident Santosh Kumar who said conductors in DTC and cluster buses never move through the bus to ensure everyone has been issued a ticket and instead remain seated in their designated seat.
The petition, filed through advocate Jose Abraham, states that the conductors are not concerned with the difficulties faced by women with babies, physically disabled people and senior citizens who have to leave their seats and move to the rear of the bus to buy a ticket.
Abraham said in several states, conductors move around the bus issuing tickets, but it is not the case in Delhi.
During the brief hearing, Justice Rao observed that in Andhra Pradesh, conductors do go to the passengers to issue them tickets.
The court issued notice to the Delhi government and the DTC, and sought their stand on the plea which has asked for appropriate rules or guidelines making it mandatory for conductors to issue tickets to all passengers who board a bus.
It claimed that there have been many instances where ticket-checking inspectors impose fines upon passengers for not buying the tickets without verifying the actual circumstances.
"Such instances mostly occur when passengers coming from other states are boarding the said buses and are not aware of the practice of the conductors (of sitting in their seats)," the petition has said.
It said there was also a May 1990 departmental order which directed that tickets must be issued to passengers boarding buses before the start of a trip and it must be ensured that tickets are also issued to the passengers who are boarding buses in between.
"But despite such an order the conductors of the DTC and cluster buses in Delhi refuse to comply with the said direction by issuing tickets while sitting at the conductor's seat instead of moving from front to rear side of the bus and ensuring that passenger boarding bus from every bus stop from the starting to the terminal stop collects the ticket," the plea has said.
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