Chennai, July 27: The First Bench of the Madras High Court comprising Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam on Thursday took suo motu cognisance of newspaper reports on the accident resulting in the death of a standard II student, Sruthi, and observed that “it is very unfortunate to see the news item that the said bus was given clearance of road worthiness just 15 days earlier by the Regional Transport Office.”
The girl died on the spot when she was run over by a school bus after she slipped through a gaping hole on its seat floor.
The Bench directed that the school authorities, transport officials and those who certified the road worthiness of the vehicle appear in person before the court.
On Wednesday, three persons, including founder-correspondent of the Zion Group of Schools, and the vehicle driver were arrested.
On Thursday, Motor Vehicles Inspector P. Rajasekaran, who had issued the fitness certificate was arrested. He was also suspended.
Chief Minister Jayalailthaa issued a statement that she had directed the Police and School Education departments to take stringent action against those responsible. A School Education Department official said a show cause notice was sent to the school. Director of Matriculation Schools Senthamizh Selvi said the school management should be held responsible for Sruthi’s death.
After inspecting the accident scene and speaking to eye-witnesses and the school management, the School Education department officials concluded that the vehicle which transported the students was functioning in an unsafe manner.
“With disregard for the welfare and safety of the students, the school failed to follow the conditions and regulations of recognition,” the Director said.