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Petition against bus fare hike

By Our Staff Reporter

KOCHI, SEPT. 22. A writ petition has been filed before the Kerala High Court seeking a direction to the State Government to publish the draft notification on new bus fares and invite objections to the fare revision before implementing the decision on new fares.

The petition was filed by M.O. Varghese of Ernakulam. According to him, the decision to collect fares from passengers from the mid-night of September 15 was illegal and arbitrary. The Government had not issued any notification under Section 67 of the Motor Vehicles Act before implementing the new bus fares. The public had not been given any opportunity of being heard or submit their objections before implementing the fare revision. Section 67 required the Government to publish the draft notification before implementing the fare revision. The petitioner also said that the Government had not applied its mind to problems being faced by the travelling public. The power exercised by the Government was unreasonable, he said.

Stamp paper

A Bench comprising the Chief Justice, N.K. Sodhi, and Justice G. Sivarajan, directed the Union Government to meet the demand of the State Government for supplying court fee stamps and stamp papers. The court directed the State Government to place orders for the stamps and stamp papers with the Union Government within four weeks .The Union Government should supply the papers within six weeks after placing the orders. The State Government was also directed to ensure adequate supply of stamps and stamp papers in the State.

The direction came on two writ petitions filed by Arunkumar and another, of Kochi. The Government submitted that it had been writing letters to the Central Stamp Depot Officer for supply stamps and stamp papers for some time now.

Bail granted

Justice R. Basant has granted bail to M.V. Subair of Kozhikode and one of the accused in the Coimbatore bomb blast case in a crime registered by the Kasba police in 1998.The crime was registered under Section 153 A of the IPC (promoting enmity between religious communities). The court ordered that if he was released on bail in the Coimbatore bomb blast case, he should be released in the case on his executing a bond for Rs.1 lakh with two solvent sureties to the like sum.

Goshree tenders

A Bench comprising Justices Cyriac Joseph and G. Sivarajan upheld the Government decision to reject the tenders received for selling the 54 acres of land which were reclaimed from the backwaters for constructing the Goshree bridges in Kochi. The Bench upheld the decision while dismissing an appeal filed against a single judge order in this regard.

The Goshree Island Development Authority (GIDA) had submitted before the court that the Local Self-Government Department had decided to reject the tenders submitted in 2003 and float fresh global tenders in view of the construction of new bridges connecting the Vypeen islands with the mainland.

The GIDA also thought that the land would fetch higher prices as the land value had gone up now. The single judge while dismissing a petition against the rejection of tenders had directed the General Council of GIDA to take a final decision in the matter before finalising the fresh tenders.

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