In 2016, the Central Government had released a set of regulations for school buses across the country. As per the regulations, the school buses had to be at least 13-seater along with several safety measures stated by the government. In regard to this, the Bombay High Court questioned the state government on its decision to permit 12-seater school buses and has directed them to clarify on the matter on Tuesday, August 14.
Earlier, PTA United Forum had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) regarding the non-compliance of schools for safety regulations of school buses. During the hearing of the PIL, it was learnt that the Transport Department had issued a government resolution (GR) on May 19 which stated that four-wheelers which are light vehicles can function as school buses. Alongside, the transport department had also considered auto-rickshaws eligible to escort school students.
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A bench of Justices Naresh Patil and GS Kulkarni asked additional commissioner SB Sahrasrabuddhe to remain present during the hearing on Wednesday over the GR that was issued by the transport department.
The Court lashed out at the department questioning about the safety of the auto-rickshaws and 12-seater buses. The court also pointed out that a female attendant is required with the children and so will the attendant be able to fit in the rickshaw with the students?
The court asked why the specific rules by the central government were brought into implementation by the state government with alterations. The state government has been asked to clarify this.