The Madras High Court issued directions to the Police Commissioner of Kochi/Ernakulam as well as the Regional Transport Authority, Cochin/Ernakulam regarding traffic rules.
Petitioners are the owners of the passenger auto rickshaws classified as three wheeled vehicles. For plying as a taxi, had obtained the permits issued by the Regional Transport Authority, whereby certain restrictions for not plying the vehicles to pick up passengers or park within the Kochi City were imposed. Petitioners moved an application for variation of the terms and conditions of the permit on the ground that there are no designated parking places for parking the auto rickshaws so that the passengers can use the facility of the auto rickshaws and requested the authorities to change their parking stand.
The counsel for the petitioner relies upon the judgment that such a condition of parking the auto rickshaw at designated parking places has been negated on the ground that no such facility was provided.
The single judge bench of Justice Amit Rawal said that the arguments would not be tenable for the reason that the judgment is of 2015 and the impugned order in the instant case is of 2021 based upon the decision of the Perumbavoor Municipality which has not been challenged in the Court.
The court noted that the decision of the Municipality has not been assailed in the present writ petition. The permit is of 2014, therefore, there cannot be any change of the condition.
The court said that an attempt has been made to overcome the decision of the municipality by submitting an application for allocation of different stand with a purpose to enter the municipality of Perumbavoor and ply the vehicle which would increase the congestion in the area and truncate the mobility of the vehicles already permitted and being plied.
The court directed the Police Commissioner of Kochi/Ernakulam as well as the Regional Transport Authority, Cochin/Ernakulam to immediately issue an order of prohibiting the private transport buses not to use horn on city and ply on extreme left side of the road without overtaking each other or other private vehicles.
The court ordered that the direction shall also be applicable to the auto rikshaws and shall ensure that the registration or issuance of the auto rikshaws do not increase per capita population of Kochi/Ernakulam and to prevent further congestion of the road as the width of the road owing to the paucity of the place is not conducive for plying transport vehicles in large number.
The court further added that they should also issue directions to fix the speed limit of the private buses and auto rikshaws and also issue directions for fixing a Governor on the speed so that any driver who intends to increase the speed is prevented to do so.
Case title: Aboobacker K.A. v/s Joint Regional Transport Officer
Citation: WP(C) NO. 13238 OF 2022