BENGALURU: It is the duty of the conductor to ensure that no unsafe materials are transported in a bus which may endanger passengers, a consumer forum in the city has ruled recently. The forum pulled up the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) for negligence on the part of a conductor and asked it to pay compensation with litigation cost to a passenger for risking his life and that of his family members which resulted in ruining his son’s birthday.
The Bengaluru Rural and Urban First Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum comprising president Anser Khaleem and Member Bharati B Vibhute directed KSRTC to pay `10,000 compensation and `1,000 litigation cost to Dr Y Venkataramanappa, a resident of Sahakaranagar, in its order dated December 29, 2017.
Dr Venkataramanappa and his family were travelling from Bengaluru to the Chowdeshwari temple at Dasarighatta in Tiptur taluk to celebrate his son’s birthday in April 2014. When the bus stopped at K B Cross for meals, Venkataramanappa tried to take out a water bottle from his bag kept on the luggage rack, but a liquid kept in another bag spilled on them. They washed their hands in the hotel but the skin irritation persisted.
Finally, they came to know that the liquid was sulphuric acid which was being carried by another passenger in the bus. The acid had damaged the clothes of the complainant and other articles. Shocked by this, Venkataramanappa approached KSRTC seeking `3 lakh as compensation but it was not considered. Following this, he moved the consumer forum in February 2016.
KSRTC, however, denied the allegations and contended that the complainant had not given any police complaint or produced any evidence. There was a 20-month delay in filing a complaint and hence it was not maintainable. But the complainant, in support of his claims, filed an affidavit along with photographs showing the injuries they suffered and clothes that were damaged due to acid.
The forum said it was negligence on the part of conductor of the bus for allowing the passenger to carry the acid which is highly inflammable and dangerous to people, and also amounts to deficiency in service. The complainant was travelling when he suffered injury on account of the acid and he cannot expected to go to the police station. It is the duty of the conductor on duty to take proper action against such miscreants who carried the acid in the bus, the forum said. It is the duty of the KSRTC authorities to take all precautions and safety measures of all, it added.