Mumbai: A division bench of the Bombay
High Court has opined that the decision of Regional Transport
Office in nearby Thane of not allowing Maruti vans to ferry
children to school was prima facie not justified.
Justice P B Majmudar and Justice A A Sayed were
hearing a petition filed by Vidyarthi Vahatuk Sanghatana
challenging the RTO`s decision to refuse permission to Maruti
vans to go schools to drop and pick up students.
The petitioner contended that even though in Mumbai
and other cities of Maharashtra, children were allowed to go
school by taking services of Maruti van it was only Thane RTO
which took exception and not allowed such vehicles to ply.
Government Pleader contended that the state had now
decided to change the policy and as per the draft rules, a new
policy is likely to be evolved by which the members of the
petitioner (Vidyarthi Vahatuk Sanghatana) will be permitted to
ply Maruti van for the purpose of taking children to school.
The Judges noted, "prima facie, in our view, the
decision taken by Thane RTO is not justified especially when
it is an admitted position that in Mumbai and other cities of
the State as well as in the rest of the Country, there is no
restriction by which the school children are allowed to avail
the services by Maruti Van. Counsel for the Petitioner states
that the case is restricted only to Maruti Van at present".
"Since Government pleader has assured that expeditious
steps will be taken to finalise the draft rules and the
petitioner can take benefit of giving services to the children
by June, at present, we deem it proper to adjourn the matter
to April 25. In case, the Rules are not finalised before the
said date, the Court shall also consider Petitioner`s request
for interim relief," the judges further noted.