No Cattle Class Transport of People for Poll
A vacation bench of the Madras High Court on Friday directed the political parties not to transport people in trucks and other commercial vehicles for election purposes. The bench of Justices KK Sasidharan and S Vimala issued the direction while disposing of a PIL from one MS Balan who prayed for a specific direction to this effect.
Petitioner contended that transporting people in commercial vehicles, including trucks and school buses, is in violation of the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act and Rules. Moreover, the victims cannot claim any compensation in case of accidents, he pointed out.
The bench granted liberty to the petitioner to lodge a complaint with the Election Commission as well as with the other statutory authorities including transport and police, in case it is found that school buses and non-passenger vehicles like trucks are used for transportation of public for election meetings or any other similar meetings.
In case any such complaint is made, the police, the authorities under the Motor Vehicles Act and the election officers must take prompt action and prove that the Acts and regulations are meant for obedience and not for violation.
The bench also noted that even though there are provisions under the MV Act to ensure that vehicles are plied only in accordance with the permit, they are often violated especially during elections. It appears that the authorities concerned have now taken action to curb the use of non-passenger vehicles for transportation of public.
The owners of these non-passenger vehicles used for transportation of public should realise that in case of accidents involving people, they are not entitled to insurance benefits on account of violation of permit.
Even the people who are travelling in such vehicles are also at risk, in asmuchas they would also be denied compensation by the insurance companies in case of accident.