Transport board can fix age of buses at 15: Apex court

August 6th, 2010 - 11:20 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 6 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday held that the Regional Transport Authority could direct stage carriages or buses to go off the road after they have operated for 15 years.
The Regional Transport Authority is competent to fix the age of the stage carriage, said a bench of Justice Markandey Katju and Justice T.S. Thakur.

While dismissing the appeal by K.M. Ismeth Ummer, the court said that it did not agree with the appelant’s contention that it was only the central government that was competent to fix the age limit of a vehicle.

Senior counsel Mathai M. Paikeday, who appeared for the appellant, contended that under Section 59 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, only the central government can fix the age limit of vehicles. The court said: “We do not agree”.

In a brief order, the court said that Section 72 (2) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 provides that the Regional Transport Authority may grant the permit for a stage carriage of a “specified description”.

“The expression ’specified description’”, the court said, “is very wide and, in our opinion, this would include fixing the age of the vehicle also”.

The court further said that imposing restriction on age of the stage carriage for the grant of permit was “obviously in the public interest as old vehicles can cause accidents and inconvenience”.

So the authorities under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 are perfectly justified in placing such a restriction for grant of the permit, the court said.

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