The State government on Friday informed the Kerala High Court that the Motor Vehicle Department has intensified checking of inter-State buses to ensure safety of passengers.
In a statement, the government said that enforcement activities had been intensified after the Kallada bus incident in which some passengers travelling on the bus had a bitter experience from its crew. It was the duty of enforcement agencies to intervene and ensure safe and hassle-free travel for passengers in view of the fact that some of the operators take law into their hands, the government said.
The statement was filed in response to a petition by SRS Travels, Kochi, against the checking and raid of inter-State buses by motor vehicle inspectors. The petitioner contended that assistant motor vehicle inspectors had no power to conduct checking of vehicles belonging to operators in other States. The government pointed out that the Central Motor Vehicle Rules mandated that the tourist permit holder should maintain a day-to-day log book indicating the name and address of the permit holder and the registration mark of the vehicle, name and address of the driver with the particulars of his driving licence and destination points with the time of departure.
If the operators failed to comply with the conditions, the authorities under the Motor Vehicle Act could take action against the breach. Though the petitioner was operating from Karnataka to Kerala, the check reports found that the vehicles of the petitioner were conducting service just like stage carriage operations by collecting individual fares to different places, violating permit condition of the All India Tourist Permits.The government submitted that the officers had the power to ascertain the records and the conduct of service. Tthe permit holder was liable to comply with the conditions of the permit.