A public interest writ petition has been filed in the Madras High Court to constitute a school level safety committee to ensure strict implementation of the comprehensive safety rules and to include within its ambit all vehicles carrying school children, except school buses, and to take stern action against autorickshaws and maxi cabs that carry more students than the permitted maximum seating capacity.
The First Bench of acting Chief Justice R K Agrawal and Justice M Sathyanarayanan, before which the PIL from CE Pratap of Mandaveli came up for hearing on Tuesday, ordered notice to the authorities concerned, returnable by September 16.
According to the petitioner, also an advocate, on seeing the autos and maxi cabs transporting school children in excess of the capacity, with book bags and lunch bags protruding from both sides of the vehicles, he sent a representation to the authorities on July 23 last expressing the dangers faced by the children and to ensure their safety.
He mentioned in his representation a special law enacted by the Karnataka Government to regulate the vehicles carrying school children. TN might also enact a similar Act, he suggested.
Following the death of a child, who fell through a hole on the floor of a school van and was crushed to death, the government framed guidelines to TN Motor Vehicles (Regulation and Control of School Buses) Special Rules. But it did not cover the private autos and maxi cabs, he pointed out.