A division bench comprising Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Justice R Hemalatha, before whom the plea moved by physically challenged persons seeking disabled-friendly standard-floor buses came up on Monday, took exception that none of the more than 4,000 buses procured by the State after the 2017 direction given by the court had access for the disabled passengers.
The bench then expressed wonder as to why the State failed to buy disabled-friendly buses and failed to provide any alternate arrangement to the physically challenged persons, and directed both Chief Secretary and Transport Secretary to be present before it during the virtual hearing on December 10.
It may be noted that an earlier bench led by Justice MM Sundresh had re-commenced hearing on an old batch of public interest litigations moved in this regard and had raised a similar query and sought for a report.
It was submitted during the hearing that during the meetings held for complying with the High Court order, the Transport Secretary always offered an assurance that disabled friendly buses would be part of the new buses that were going to be purchased. Hundreds of buses continue to be bought, but none of them being disabled-friendly.
It was also pointed out that in an earlier order the first bench of the High Court had restrained the Transport Corporations from purchasing new buses if they were not disabled friendly.