Can minor witnesses' testimony be video-recorded to spare them from deposing in court: HC to Maha govt
The Bombay High Court today summoned the additional commissioner of the Maharashtra Transport Department after it was brought to the court's notice that the government had recently issued a resolution that effectively nullified a previous HC order regulating school buses.
A bench of justices Naresh Patil and G S Kulkarni directed the additional commissioner to remain present in the court tomorrow over the government resolution (GR) that was issued by the transport department on May 19 this year.
As per the resolution, the state permitted three-wheelers and vans with seating capacity of less than 12, to ferry children to and from their schools.
However, as per the central government's norms, notified last year, school buses are vehicles that have a seating capacity of 13 passengers and more, excluding the driver.
As per both the Centre and the state's own rules, these buses must also be designed and constructed specially and must conform to safety rules and features.
In the past, the high court, which has been hearing a PIL seeking that school buses comply with the state and the Centre' rules, has issued several directions to the government asking it to ensure that the school buses complied with the above rules.
Today, the bench was informed about the May-19 resolution as per which, following a representation made by several school bus operators, the state transport department permitted some three-wheelers and vans with seating capacity of less than 12 to operate as school buses.
"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," the bench observed.
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