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State shall protect the interests of people: Kerala High Court

It is the obligation of the state owned corporation to protect the interests of people. The Road transportation corporation is a state owned corporation and it is their duty to ensure the facilities provided by them are in consonance with the interests of the people depending upon their transportation services. This proclamation was made by the Kerala High Court in the case of Bindu K K & Sebastian T S vs Kerala State Road Transportation Corporation & othrs. [WP(C).No.23497 OF 2014(S)].

In the instant case, this is a Public Interest Writ Petition filed by two residents of Vypeen Island seeking a writ of mandamus to the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, Thiruvananthapuram and Deputy Transport Officer, KSRTC, Ernakulam, to restore the trips of buses that were conducting services through the Light House junction in Puthuvype village, Vypeen Island; direct the KSRTC and the Regional Transport Authority, Civil Station, Kochi, to grant necessary permits to the KSRTC to run buses through Light House junction in Vypeen Island and to run sufficient number of KSRTC buses between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. through Vypeen Island, and seeking other related reliefs.

The honorable high court held that, “However, fact remains, services are started by the KSRTC taking into account the requirements of the public in order to protect their well being and interests, which is often carried out by conducting due enquiries. We presume that when the KSRTC started one service from Light House junction, it must have procured necessary details enabling it to finalize the schedule, the cost feasibility etc. Anyhow there are no records before us to think that the service was stopped due to any other reason other than non-availability of sufficient passengers to make the service at least break even. But we are of the view that the service from Light House junction was stopped by the KSRTC several years back and Vypeen Island being in close proximity with Kochi city, and due to its natural beauty, many people must have put up their residence in that area also.” The court further held, “In the light of the above, and bearing in mind the duty and obligation of the State owned corporation to protect the interests of the people, we dispose of the writ petition directing the 2nd respondent i.e., the Deputy Transport Officer, KSRTC, Ernakulam, to conduct a field survey in regard to operation of a service from Light House junction at least during peak hours of the day so as to cater to the needs of the people residing in that area also, at the earliest and at any rate within a month from the date of receipt of a copy of this judgment and the parties would be guided by the decision taken accordingly.”

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