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All in a morning’s paper

July 26, 2012

It is not often that so much stimulus is provided so early in the day to write a blog. But honestly, it seems all the stimulus is for matter I would have consigned to tailpieces. So here goes, today’s tailpiece items-

Of motor vehicles and courts of law

A six-year-old girl, say the reports, fell through the floor of a school bus on to the road and was run over by its rear wheels.

The Times of India reports that the vehicle had passed a fitness test a fortnight ago, but it was fully gutted by the local public and one could not ascertain the condition of the floor now. The Hindu carries a picture showing a hole in the floor, and of course, there is no evidence of its being fully gutted. It says the fitness certificate is six months old.

The High Court of Madras recently refused to reinstate a bus driver in Salem, who had been dismissed by a State Transport Corporation for driving negligently and causing an accident . The driver’s plea was that the accident was caused by mechanical failure; the accident was an Act of God.

“The transport authorities, however, told the court that as per a report by the motor vehicle inspector the bus had been issued fitness certificate only three days before the incident and that the vehicle had no mechanical defect,” says this newspaper article: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-05-16/chennai/31725673_1_labour-court-rash-accident

“Justice Vasanthakumar, citing this report, concluded that the accident was due to the rash and negligent act of the driver, who could not furnish any proof in support of his claim that mechanical defect was the reason behind the accident”.

The case law seems to be that if a fitness certificate is issued to a vehicle, then it will be mechanically perfect for the validity period of the certificate! Unless you prove otherwise.

Meanwhile, another school bus has “ploughed into a field” on the same day near Tiruvallur; only some injuries, no deaths, thank goodness.

Court lays down the law

The High Court of Gujarat has taken over the role of the legislature? According to Times of India, it has ordered

  1. Gujarat State must pass legislation to make it compulsory for all four wheelers to run only on natural gas, within the shortest possible period, “not exceeding one year from today for the protection of lives of citizens”.
  2. Gujarat State must within two months issue necessary orders to impose stringent restrictions to reduce pollution by lowering levels of emission to the minimum and at par with international norms.
  3. The Union of India must supply natural gas to the city of Ahmedabad at the same rate as it is supplied to Delhi and Mumbai.

The learned judges have also, it seems, issued guidance that there should be discriminatory pricing for the natural gas fuel – higher for private users, lower for public vehicles, fares of public transport should be revised to pass on benefits to the public. But there should be no discrimination in allocation of natural gas between gas distributors promoted by central PSUs and Gujarat based distributors. They have not worked out the details of distribution of natural gas all over the state of Gujarat, as far as the report can be relied upon.

Apparently, they have also not made clear what the “international norms” are for pollution levels. If Bharat II and IV are not good (for implementation of which alaw already exists), should the state adopt European, American (within USA is it Californian or Floridan?), Nicaraguan, Congolese or Sri Lankan?

It is only the other day that another learned judge of the Supreme Court of India decided that no sun-control film, regardless of the transparency can be pasted on to car windows. This, when the law lays down certain percentages for transmission of light through car windows.

A few years back, the Supreme Court had decided that public buses in Delhi should run on natural gas.

This sort of thing happens because the legislatures and the executive have apparently become moribund.

You can’t do much about these; there is that matter of something called “contempt”, which matter will also be prosecuted and decided on by the same person.

We want no trees

Bird hits are a problem at lots of airports; with vegetation that harbours insects and organic waste near airports, birds cluster there. But removing all the leaves on trees on the road to the airport seems to be  a novel solution. The Times of India sports the photograph of a tree pruned drastically. Looks like “slaughter tapping” of rubber trees.

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One Comment
  1. Induchoodan permalink

    At this rate it may be a good idea to elect the chief justices by universal franchise since they are taking over the role of the elected representatives.

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