The state again backed its decision of allowing vehicles with a seating capacity of less than 13 as school vehicles.
Mumbai: The state government has informed the court that there is no conflict between the Central and state rules regarding vehicles ferrying school children. The advocate general informed the court that the state’s rules were bridging the gaps in the Central government’s rules. The state again backed its decision of allowing vehicles with a seating capacity of less than 13 as school vehicles.
A division bench headed by Justice Naresh Patil was hearing a public interest litigation filed by the Parents Teachers Association United Forum, seeking directions to the state government to ensure proper implementation of school bus safety norms as laid down by the Centre in the Motor Vehicles Act of 2012. The petition stated that despite rules and guidelines having been formulated and a school bus having been defined by the Act, the state had been issuing permits to vehicles with a seating capacity of less than 12+1.
Earlier, the court had directed the state to take action against private school bus owners who did not follow safety measures prescribed by the state government. Advocate general Ashutosh Kumbhakoni on Tuesday argued, “There is no conflict between the state and Centr’s rules. We are just covering what is left in the Centre’s rules.”
He argued that according to the Central government rule number 111, the states could make and implement their own rules which were not covered under the Central Act. But the court was not convinced and said that rule 112 did not give the power to the states to set new rules pertaining to the reduction of vehicle size. The court asked the state to satisfy it at next hearing as to how and why it was reducing the seating.