Guj HC registers suo motu PIL on Surat accident that killed 15

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Ahmedabad, Jan 29 (PTI) The Gujarat High Court has registered a suo motu public interest litigation in connection with an accident which killed 15 migrant workers in Surat district on January 19.

In the early hours of January 19, a truck ran over 15 people, including a one-year-old girl and eight women, sleeping on a pavement along Kim-Mandvi road.

A High Court bench comprising Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice A J Shastri, on January 27, registered a PIL with cause title 'to regulate road discipline and to give shelter to weaker section', and issued notices to five government entities.

The notices were issued to the chief secretary, additional chief secretaries of Home and Ports and Transport departments, principal secretary of Labour and Employment department and transport commissioner.

The bench noted that, after the mishap, senior advocate Anshin Desai had written a letter to HC to register a suo motu PIL 'so as to monitor certain important issues touching the life and liberty of the weaker sections and also to deal with their valuable right to housing, right to shelter and right to life being the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution'.

Some of the suggestions mentioned in the letter, and incorporated in the order, are strict compliance of vehicle fitness certificates, fixing responsibilities of high ranking transport officials, and contractors be made responsible to provide housing and other amenities to migrant labourers.

Desai further said state and municipal corporations have constitutional as well as statutory duty to provide residential accommodation to the poor and weaker sections.

The HC kept further hearing on the PIL for February 8.

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