Vs. Union of India & Ors  INSC 939 (16 December 1997)
KIRPAL, V.N. KHARE
16TH DAY OF DECEMBER, 1997 Present:
the Chief Justice Hon'ble Mr. Justice B.N. Kirpal Hon'ble Mr. Justice V.N.Khare
Ashok Desai, Attorney General, M.S.Usgeonkar, Additional Solicitor General, Hrish
N.Salve, Sr.Adv., Mukul Mudgal, Ms.Indra Sawhney, Deepak Dewan, A.K.Sharma, S.Wasim
A.Qadri, A.D.N.Rao, Ms. Niranjana Singh, (P.Parmeswarn) Adv. for (MOEF), Dutta,
Hardeep Singh Anand, Shri Narain, Ssndeep Narain, (M.C.Mehta) (NP) In-person, Ms.Seema
Midha, S.N.Sikka, D.S.Mehra, (Ms.Anil Katiyar) Adv. for (Min, of Petroleum), D.K.Garg,
Sanjeev Pabby., R.K.Maheshwari, Ms.Manju Bharti, R.K.Kapoor, P.Verma, S.K.Srivastava,
B.R.Kapur, Anis Ahmed Khan, Vijay Panjwani, (R.Sasiprabhu, Anees Ahmed, Aditi
Singh) Advs. for (GAIL), Pradeep Misra.
Dikshit, Sanjay parikh, Kailash Vasdev, Mahabir Singh, Ms. Sushma Suri, C.V.Subba
Rao, Ashok Mathur, D.M.Nargolkar, Saharya, Ejaz Maqbool, R.P.Gupta, K.K.Gupta, L.K.Pandey,
Upadhyay, S.R. Setia, Satish Aggarwal. Ranjit Kumar, Advs. with them for the
O R D
E R The following order of the Court was delivered:
W.P.(C) No.9300/02. W.P.(C) No. 939/96 and W.P.(C) No. 95/97/ After hearing the
learned amicus curiae, the Additional Solicitor General and the counsel
representing certain other interests, we issue the following further
The figures in relation to issuance of commercial licences show that there is
need to verify commercial licences. Which were issued during the period 1993-95.
We. there fore, direct that all commercial licences issued during the period
1993-95 be re-verified by the Transport Department to weed out all such licences
which have been issued without following the Rules.
are informed that a test has now been prescribed for issuance of new licence.
We direct the Transport Department to prescribe a suitable refresher training
course as a condition for the renewal of any licence to drive a heavy vehicle.
The grantees of a permit cannot (without express prior permission). Under the
provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act either transfer his permit or to allow
some other person to operate a vehicle on this permit. Any such use of permits
which really constitutes a trading in permits is a patent violation of the
Motor Vehicles Act and the Rules and would render the permit liable to
cancellation, apart from other legal consequences. We direct the authorities
not to renew any permit which has been or is being used by any person other
than the original grantee, without the express prior permission of the grantee.
direct the Civic Authorities to take necessary steps to remove immediately all
encroachments-temporary or permanent - on roads and payments. Which affect the
smooth flow of traffic or obstruct the way of pedestrians. Stay cattle and
other similar obstructions would also have to be similarly dealt with.
The need for safety of school children travelling in buses requires that such
buses be fitted with doors that can be shut. We. therefore, direct that on or
after 31st January,
1998. no bus shall be
used by an educational institution unless it is fitted with doors which can be
closed. No educational institutions shall, after the said date, use a bus if it
has an open door.
Similarly, it is essential that, in addition to a driver, there is another
qualified person in the bus can attend to the children travelling in the bus. Rule
17 of the Motor Vehicles Rules. 1993 stipulates qualifications. duties and
functions or a Conductor. It would be in the interest of safety to require the
presence of a qualified conductor on board every bus that is being used by an
educational institution. we are told that at present there is a paucity of
trained conductors. We, therefore, direct that on or after 30th April, 1998. no bus used by or in the service
of an educational institution shall be permitted to operate without a operate
without a qualified conductor being present at all times. a (7) We are also
informed that some schools have Voluntarily requested the parents of their
wards to accompany buses so as to ensure that the drivers drive safely and the
lives of the children are not out in jeopardy. we commend this action, and
direct the education Department to ask all schools including Government and
Municipal schools to evolve a similar arrangement as far as possible, so as to
ensure that in each bus there is at least one parent present who would be able
to oversee the conduct of the driver. This step would do a long way in ensuring
that the directions given as well as other safety measures given as well as
other safety measures prescribed are complied with in letter and spirit and
that the driver drives carefully.
One of the problems, which was been brought to our notice, is the overgrowing
of buses. After hearing the views of the Transport Department as well as the
Delhi Police (Traffic Wing), we feel it appropriate to direct, that no bus
belongings to of in use of any educational institution, shall seat children in
excess of 1.5 times its registered seating capacity. Similarly, other modes of
public transport, such as TSRs, taxis and other vehicles used for transporting
the students of an educational institution should not be permitted to carry children
more than 1.5 times they registered seating capacity.
One of the major pollutants identified in the various affidavits as well asa in
the latest Status Report filed by the Government, is the TSR (two seater
rickshaw using a two stroke engine). We are further informed that although the
existing figures of registered TSRs as per the records, is approximately
83,000: the actual number in use is far lesser since some of these permits have
not been cancelled although the vehicles have been scrapped. It would be in the
interest of the environment. to freeze the number of TSRs for the present at
the level at which they are actually in use in the city. We. therefore direct
that there would be no grant of fresh permits in respect of the TSR.
and except by way of replacement of an existing working TSR with a new one.
We direct the police Commissioner to frame appropriate guidelines for
regulating processions - religious. Political or otherwise - which tend to
obstruct the flow of traffic. These guidelines should be in conformity with the
rights of the users of the roads and the exercise of fundamental freedom of
other citizens indicated by this Court in this judgment in Communist Party of
India ((M) vs. Bharat Kumar and Others. JT 1997 (9) SC 101.
The Union of India is directed to file within two weeks the Action Plan for
appointment of private persons to enforce traffic safety laws and confer upon
such people suitable powers under the Cr.P.C. as well as under the Motor
Vehicles Act. The Union of India would also file its response to the repeated
suggestion made by the Traffic Police as well as the Transport Department for
augmenting the uniformed force in the city.
There are certain modifications called for in our earlier order dated 20th November, 1997, which we direct as hereunder:
para A(a), add the following :
for installation of speed control devices would also not apply to vehicles
operating on All India Tourist Permits issued by the Transport Department. NCT
In para A(f). the sentence commencing "no bus" and ending with
"educational institution" shall stand substituted with the following
" "No bus belonging to or hired by an educational institution shall
be driven by a driver who has - (a) Less than fives years of experience of
driving heavy vehicles;
challaned more than twice in a year in respect of offences of Jumping red
fights. Improper or obstructive parking violating the stop line. violating the
rule requiring driving within the bus lane. Violating restricting the
overtaking. allowing unauthorised person to drive;
been challaned/charged even once for the offence of over speeding, drunken
driving and driving dangerously or for the offences under Sections 279,337,338
and 304-A of the Indian Penal Code.
such drivers would be dressed in a distinctive uniform and all such buses shall
carry a suitable inscription to indicate that they are in the duty of an
In para A(c). after the word "buses" add the words "heavy goods
vehicles, medium goods vehicles, and A-wheel light goods vehicles plying during
the permitted hours.
In para A(h). and the following :
to add, this is in addition to the statutory power conferred under Section 115
of the Motor Vehicles Act under which the authorities can prohibited or
restrict any class of vehicle(s) from being used, inter alia any particular
route or during any period of time.
The Transport as well as the Police Departments are directed to ensure that the
contents of this order are duly publicised so that the people using roads are
made aware of the restrictions imposed. They should also give publicity to the
basic rules relating to safe driving, particularly those relating to user of
bus lanes, changing of lane, overtaking and right of way on round about. We
direct the Union of India to make available the necessary facilities in this
regard, particularly in relation to the electronic media.