Directions issued for plying buses procured under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission scheme

Pradesh High Court: While deciding the writ
petition filed by private bus operators wherein they contend that the buses received
under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM) scheme by
the respondents cannot be plied beyond the city limits of Shimla and be
permitted to run on concessional fares and also that issuance of various
notifications as well as use of buses under the JnNURM scheme is contrary to
the provisions of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (the Act) and Rules framed there
under as the State was bound to adhere to the JnNURM scheme, a division bench
of Rajiv Sharma and Tarlok Singh Chauhan, JJ partly allowed the petitions and
issued directions stating that the respondents are directed to finalize the scheme
as notified under Section 99 of the Act and they should ply the buses in such a
manner so as to ensure equitable distribution of passengers between the buses
run by the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) and the private operators.
The Court also directed HRTC not to charge lower fare than the one notified
vide notification dated 30.9.2013.

In the instant case, the respondents
procured buses under JnNURM scheme and have permitted to run them on concessional
fares in inter district and inter-State routes without obtaining the stage
carriage permit that too without any particular time table. The petitioners
were aggrieved by these facts and hence filed the present petition.

The Court further stated that the said
scheme is framed to provide adequate, economical road transport and the State
Government is required to act in public interest to cancel or modify the scheme
under Section 102 of the Act after giving the person so affected an opportunity
of hearing. Giving further reasons the Court stated that as the buses procured
under JnNURM are new and offering concessional fares, the private operators are
loosing hence time tables should be drawn for running such buses. [Niji Bus Operator Kalyan Sabha v. State of
H.P., 2015 SCC OnLine HP 1231, decided on 28.5.2015]
Source: Legal news India

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