Delhi HC rejects plea challenging purchase of new buses for DTC
New Delhi, Oct 22: The Delhi High Court on Monday (October 22) rejected a plea which challenged the state government's decision to procure 500 standard floor buses (SFBs) for the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC).
The proposed procurement was opposed by a differently-abled person, Nipun Malhotra, who has moved two PILs challenging the Delhi government and the DTC's decision to buy 2,000 standard floor buses (SFBs) instead of the low floor buses (LFBs) for the national capital. After hearing arguments of both sides, the high court had earlier reserved its decision on the procurement of 500 SFBs.
On October 10, the AAP government and DTC urged the Delhi high court to permit procurement of 500 standard-floor buses for the national capital, saying that these vehicles were primarily meant for rural areas on the city outskirts where the roads were poor.
Malhotra, represented by advocate Jai Dehadrai, contended that SFBs were not disabled friendly as they were mounted on truck chassis and their height prevented differently-abled persons from boarding them.
Taking note of disability rights activist Nipun Malhotra's petition, the Delhi High Court issued a stay on the tender in June this year, saying that the government is "bent upon treating the disabled as non-existent, or, in any case not having any rights." The government then appealed to the Supreme Court, citing the urgent need for new buses, the repeated difficulties in finding bidders for low floor buses, and the existence of a high number of low floor buses in the current fleet.
The Supreme Court then granted an easing of the stay order in August, stating that the government can go ahead with acquiring 500 standard floor buses - on the condition that it also add 500 low floor buses. The government has gone back to the Supreme Court on September 7, requesting that it be permitted to acquire the entire fleet of 1,000 buses, as the tender has already been cleared.
OneIndia News with PTI inputs