Questions raised on how ill-fated bus was issued Fitness Certificate by RTO
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Questions raised on how ill-fated bus was issued Fitness Certificate by RTO

November 25, 2018

Mandya:  Yesterday’s tragedy at Kanaganamaradi in Pandavapura taluk, has once again brought to the fore the issue of RTOs issuing Fitness Certificates to vehicles which are too old or unfit to ply on roads. With 30 people losing their lives in Saturday’s tragedy, people are blaming the RTO officials for issuing Fitness Certificate to the ill-fated bus without bothering to check its fitness to ply on roads. Meanwhile, the Government is said to have suspended the RTO Official who issued the Fitness Certificate to Mangaluru registered ‘Rajakumar’ bus, which plunged into the canal, killing 30 passengers, who also included children who were retuning to their village from school.

Private buses rule the Pandavapura-Mandya route: Private buses are the major means of transport for villagers travelling on Pandavapura-Mandya route, as only one KSRTC bus plies on this route in a day.

Hundreds of Villages from Kanaganamaradi, Vadesamudra, Hulikere, Machalli, VC Farm and other villages depend on private bus for travelling to Mandya and Pandavapura. Although three to four KSRTC buses plied between Pandavapura and Mandya when K.S. Puttannaiah was the MLA, these buses were said to have been stopped due to poor collection. Then there were allegations that KSRTC officials had buckled under pressure from private bus operators, who wanted to have monopoly on this route.

The private bus operators, taking advantage of the situation, plied old and unfit buses on this route. Now yesterday’s tragedy should wake up the sleeping officials and the officials should act to ensure that such accidents do not occur in the future.

MASS FUNERAL: Heart-rending scenes were witnessed at Vadesamudra in Pandavapura taluk where the last rites of eight persons who died in yesterday’s bus accident were held this morning. The rest of the bodies were cremated at their respective villages.

RTO suspended: Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy visited the accident spot and consoled the family members of the victims. Upon coming to know that the bus was old and unfit to ply, Kumaraswamy ordered the suspension of Mandya RTO for having issued Fitness Certificate to the bus in violation of rules.

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Even as the bus plunged into the Visvesvaraya Canal, the driver and cleaner of the bus managed to jump from the bus in time and fled from the spot.

Shivalingegowda of Kanaganamaradi, who has lodged a complaint with the Pandavapura Police, has blamed over speeding and negligence on the part of the driver for the accident, that took the lives of 30 passengers.

Following the complaint, the Police have booked the bus driver under sections 279, 337, 304(A) of IPC readwith (R/W) section 187 of Indian Motor Vehicles (IMV) Act.

Advocate T.A. Prabhakar of Mysuru said that as per the provisions of these sections, the bus driver can be sentenced up to three years and three months of imprisonment or can be imposed a monetary penalty or even both, if the driver is found guilty of the charges, once the Police after investigation, submits charge-sheet against the driver in the Court.

While section 279 relates to rash and negligent driving that attracts a 6-month jail term or penalty or both, section 337 relates to rash and negligent driving that causes injuries to a person / persons, attracting a 6-month jail term or a penalty or both, section 304(A) relates to rash and negligent driving that causes death of a person / persons attracting two year jail term along with a huge sum as penalty.

Section 187 of IMV Act relates to the responsibility of the driver. The act states that the driver should come to the rescue of persons / passengers injured  in a mishap and shift them immediately to a nearby hospital and inform the matter to the nearest Police Station. The driver can be sentenced to 3-month imprisonment or penalised or both, if found guilty of violating the Act. Also the driver can be booked under hit-and-run case if he/ she fled from the spot without bothering to take care of the injured, advocate Prabhakar said.

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