Writ demands commission of inquiry on public transport

Amid spike in road accidents and growing irregularities in the public transportation sector, a writ petition has been filed at the Supreme Court on Sunday demanding a mandamus order for setting up an inquiry commission to recommend ways to rein in the sector that has been operating in a more or less freewheeling manner.

Advocate Jyoti Baniya, also the general secretary of Forum for Protection of Consumer Rights Nepal, filed the writ petition demanding formation of the commission of inquiry in line with the clause 3 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1969.

The petitioner has argued that the commission should be asked to probe the existing public transport facilities, route permits, registration of transport entrepreneurs´ associations, classification of public transport, fares, insurance schemes, liability in case of accidents, and execution of previous court orders.

The petitioner has demanded that the commission be headed by a Supreme Court justice or an Appellate Court judge.

The petitions claims that transport entrepreneurs have been ignoring legal provisions by running syndicate systems through different means.

The syndicates backed by transport entrepreneurs have been operating very old vehicles even though the government has banned them.

Arguing such irregularities as the causes behind the road accidents, the petitioner has alleged the transport entrepreneurs of killing people and saving drivers from legal action just to get back cash from insurance policies, which they have bought.

Citing 822 deaths in road accident in current fiscal year 2014/015, 1787 deaths in 2013/014 and 1816 in 1012/013, the petitioner has argued that commission of inquiry is a must to address the current problems of public transport.

Meanwhile, Baniya has also filed a contempt of court case against the Prime Minister, Secretaries at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport and Ministry of Commerce and Supply as well as Department of Transport Management and the seven organizations of transport entrepreneurs.

The petitioners have claimed the defendants have not obeyed and executed the previous orders of the apex court to fix the transport fares with scientific approach and end syndicates at work in the public transport sector.

Source: Republica