New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Delhi Transport Corporation to ensure that only authorised licence holders be allowed to drive DTC buses on the city roads.
"Persons who have only authorised licence must be allowed to drive DTC buses. How will you check a person having a driving licence from Nagaland? Why do the state transport authorities take such a long time to respond to the verification process?" a bench of justices BD Ahmed and S Mridul said while pulling up DTC for delay in verifying the licences of its drivers.
The court was hearing a plea by an NGO which alleged that most of the over 4000 DTC drivers recruited in 2007-08 were colour blind and sought that they be medically re-examined.
During the hearing, the counsel for DTC informed the court that all the aspirants have to appear in a written test and subsequently they are given an in-house training.
The bench directed the Delhi government to file within two weeks a short affidavit stating whether an inquiry has been initiated with respect to unfit persons who were recruited for the post of drivers in DTC in 2008.
The matter was fixed for further consideration on January 07.
The court observed that the agency should verify the licences of new applicants before recruiting them and allowing them to drive on the city's roads.
The PIL filed by NGO, Azaad Dasta Sankalp Humara, had sought "an impartial investigation by a Special Investigation Team or CBI into the illegal and fraudulent appointments conducted for the post of drivers in Delhi Transport Corporation in 2008".
The NGO has alleged that of the 4415 drivers recruited in 2008, over 850 were found to be medically unfit by the DTC medical board.
Thereafter, another medical board was constituted and about 56 candidates, who were earlier found unfit, were examined by Guru Nanak Eye Centre which had declared majority of them as fit, the petition had said. These drivers, declared fit by Guru Nanak Eye Centre, were allowed to drive buses on the city roads and "thereafter there were frequent road accidents by DTC buses as appeared in local newspapers", the NGO had alleged.
"Further, re-examination was conducted in Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) Hospital and the same candidates earlier declared fit by Guru Nanak Eye Centre have been declared unfit again by DDU," the petition had alleged.
The NGO had contended that most of the over 850 drivers found medically unfit by DTC medical board were suffering from eye defects, including colour blindness.
It had also alleged that according to reports, several DTC drivers have been found to had fake driving licences and FIRs had been registered against several such persons.
The NGO had sought action against all the officials concerned of DTC and the eye centre who were involved in the "illegal appointment" of unfit drivers without valid driving licence in DTC.