Bus in Khanna molestation case had no route permit | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Bus in Khanna molestation case had no route permit

The Punjab transport department is yet to take action against the faulty bus operators for running their vehicles without the valid route permit in the two glaring cases - in the Moga bus killing case and the Khanna molestation case.

chandigarh Updated: May 16, 2015 17:40 IST
Prabhjit Singh

The Punjab transport department is yet to take action against the faulty bus operators for running their vehicles without the valid route permit in the two glaring cases - in the Moga bus killing case and the Khanna molestation case.

State transport commissioner (STC) Ashwani Kumar, in a written reply to a demand notice, has acknowledged that the bus in which a woman was molested in Khanna on May 4 did not have a valid permit.

The demand notice that was sent by lawyer-activist HC Arora had demanded for the cancellation of the permits of the buses involved in both these cases, citing the Supreme Court directions.

"As per the report received from the district transport officer, Ludhiana, the bus bearing a temporary registration number - PB-12 S-4196 -- was plying in a wrong manner and did not have a permit," said the STC's reply to a legal notice on the incident by Arora.

The STC, in his reply, however, skipped the details of the Moga incident bus owned by the Badals' Orbit Aviation.

Ludhiana DTO Anil Garg told HT on phone that no case under the Motor Vehicle Act had so far been registered against the Rajdeep Bus Service which owned the bus in which the woman was molested in Khanna within a week of the Moga incident.

"The bus is untraceable," the Ludhiana DTO said, adding that it carried a temporary number only.

Khanna SSP Gurpreet Gill, when contacted, told HT that the transporters might have taken the bus from the police station later by seeking the court orders. He said the investigation was on, and the cops had released the sketches of the man who molested the woman.

The Khanna police station authorities were helpless in giving any contact of the transporter running the Rajdeep Bus Service.

Significantly, both the driver and conductor of the bus were not sent to police remand even for a single day after they were produced in the court of Khanna judicial magistrate.

As per the FIR lodged by the victim woman, the driver and conductor had helped the molester when she approached them for her safety.

Moga bus riddle

The transport authorities have so far failed to clear the air whether the bus owned by the Badals' Orbit Aviation carried the valid permit of plying between Ganganagar and Moga.

The bus was reportedly coming from Ganganagar and headed towards Moga and the victim girl, along with her mother and brother, had boarded the bus from Baghapurana.

Moga DTO Arvind Kumar, when contacted, said he had no knowledge about the documentation of the bus in question except that the vehicle was registered in Faridkot.

"Since the bus was plying through other districts also and had the registration number of Faridkot, the onus for issuing the route permit lies on the Faridkot DTO," the Moga DTO said.

Route permits still awaited on website

The Punjab transport department has not been able to upload the list of route permits carrying details like registration numbers of buses, their specific routes and the names of the respective owners in its official website so far.

Arora had also asked the transport department to fulfil this obligation in public interest.

Arora is also amicus curiae in the case in which the Punjab and Haryana high court had sent suo motu notices to the Punjab transport department and to the Orbit Aviation in wake of the Moga incident.