10 Feb 2023 10:55 AM GMT
The Kerala High Court on Friday directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), Kochi City to ensure that all the measures and instructions that have been taken and issued by the police against offending vehicles be put into operation without any reservation. The court today took note of the rash and negligent driving by a private bus near P.V.M. Junction that lead to the...
The Kerala High Court on Friday directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), Kochi City to ensure that all the measures and instructions that have been taken and issued by the police against offending vehicles be put into operation without any reservation.
The court today took note of the rash and negligent driving by a private bus near P.V.M. Junction that lead to the death of a youth. The amicus curiae informed the court about the accident earlier today.
"This Court will never countenance the stand of any person, that they will drive recklessly and kill people, but still cannot be proceeded against, under the legal system", Justice Devan Ramachandran observed.
The Court expressed its anguish that despite the issuance of several orders under the hope that the drivers of the buses would understand the gravity of the situation, the situation was not changing on the ground.
"If we look at the priority on roads, the first priority is for pedestrians. The last priority is for large vehicles, as per the international code," the court said, during the hearing
The court further noted that the number of road accidents in the state is mind boggling.
"It is a complete breakdown of our road safety systems. How can there be so many accidents? We must understand that even these complaints that are coming in might only be 50 or 60 percent. There may be several other small accidents on the roads," it observed.
The court was informed by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), Kochi City, who was personally asked to be present, that the accident could have been averted had the driver of the bus been more careful.
He added that additional instructions have also been issued including that none of the buses would be allowed to overtake within the lane, and that they would have to maintain the left lane consistently. The officer further informed the Court that he has instructed his officers to ensure that all the buses maintain the speed limit within the city, which is 3Km/hr, without blaring of horns, and with the doors kept close during the journey.
The officer further told the court today that there is a system called the Intelligent Traffic Management System (ITMS) in operation through which the traffic is monitored remotely from the control room of the police, and that every offending vehicle is now being taken to task, including by cancellation of the license of the driver.
The Senior Government Pleader K.V. Manoj Kumar submitted that even while the police officers are taking action in great earnest, some sections of the drivers/owners who have vested interests, have now threatened to engage in disruptive activities including strikes. He thus urged the court to protect the police officers who, he said, are discharging their duties without fear or favour.
The Amicus Curiae Vinod Bhat submitted that the orders issued by the court are heeded by the drivers only for a very short period, and that they go back to their usual selves "perhaps because they had no fear of the law at all".
The court conceded to this view, and noted that had the driver of the buses been law abiding, many such accidents could have been thwarted.
"Their recklessness and even abject disdain for the orders of this Court are now so glaring that it cannot be lost sight of," the court observed.
The matter has been adjourned for further consideration on February 23, 2023, within which time the Senior Government Pleader was directed to place on record the Action Report by the DCP in this regard.
Case Title: Pauly Vadakkan v. Corporation of Cochin
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