The Madras High Court passed an judgement on 18th of April, 2023 in which it directed the State to modify the tender order for procurement of 1107 high floor buses so as to protect the interests of the disabled. This was seen in the case of Vaishnavi Jayakumar v. The State of Tamil Nadu and Ors. (Writ Petition No.29914 of 2022 and Sub Application No.774 of 2022) and the case was presided over by The Hon’ble Mr. T. Raja, Acting Chief Justice and The Hon’ble Mr. Justice D. Bharatha Chakravarthy
FACTS OF THE CASE:
The petitioner filed a writ petition seeking an issue of a Writ of certiorari calling for the records that proves the procurement of 1107 Type I Buses of floor height 900 mm. The tender floated by the Road Transport Department for procuring 1107 High Floor buses brought about the problem of the high floors which is only permissible on exceptions. Hence this petition.
The petitioner contended that tender was against the apex precedents wherein it was held that and all the government buses should be bought in accordance with the Harmonised Guidelines and Standards for Universal Accessibility in India, 2021 and that they should be disabled-friendly. The Madras High Court itself on an earlier decision held that a total number of 10% of buses should be disabled-friendly.
The respondents contended that there were a number of practical difficulties such as poor road conditions, problems of rainy season, higher costs, lack of competition in procurement, etc.,
The learned bench after listening to the contentions of both parties, directed the State to go ahead with the procurement of the 342 low floor buses both electric and diesel that are being done through different tenders. Instead of 1107 high floor buses, 950 high floor and the balance 157 low floor buses shall be procured. They voiced that the interests of the disabled should be protected too.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY SWETA SHOUMYA