Robin Bus-MVD battle intensifies; officials allege death threat by Baby Gireesh

'Robin' bus. File Photo: Manorama Online

Alappuzha: The ongoing battle between Robin Bus and the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) officials has taken yet another ugly turn, with two Assistant Motor Vehicle Inspectors (AMVIs) under the Pathanamthitta Regional Transport Office lodging a police complaint against alleged death threats by bus operator Baby Gireesh.

Based on a complaint lodged by the officials, Gireesh has been asked to appeat for interrogation at the office of the District Police Chief in Pathanamthitta.

Confirming the development, Gireesh termed the complaints as an attempt by the MVD to avenge their back-to-back legal defeats they suffered. "They may want to avenge the High Court's dismissal of a writ petition seeking a stay on its earlier order permitting the operation of Robin Bus. At the same time, the court has also accepted my petition, seeking to initiate contempt proceedings against the officials concerned, including the State Transport Secretary," he said. He added that he would appear for questioning.

Officials with the Pathanamthitta District Police also confirmed the receipt of a complaint and said the bus operator had been summoned to record his statement.

Regarding whether Robin Bus would be extending its Pathanamthitta-Coimbatore service to Adoor from February 1 as announced earlier, Gireesh said there would be no change in the service plans even if he was lodged in jail. "I don’t even know the officials who filed the complaint against me. I think the MVD officials are taking the legal loss too personally," he said.

The MVD officials in Pathanamthitta, meanwhile, were not available for comment despite multiple attempts to elicit a response.

Meanwhile, the bus operators said they on Wednesday would serve letters to the Regional Transport Office intimating the extension of its service to Adoor. “A letter will also be submitted to the Pathanamthitta police seeking to prevent the MVD officials, who regularly inspect the commuter list, from intimidating our passengers," said Gireesh.

Starting February 1, Robin will be operating its Coimbatore service half an hour ahead of the KSRTC’s morning service from Pathanamthitta.

The standoff between the MVD and the bus operator began on September 1, 2023, with an MVD team inspecting the bus and cancelling the vehicle’s fitness certificate. The key bone of contention between the bus operator and the MVD pertains to the operation of the service on an All India Tourist Bus permit. While the bus operator insists that he is operating the service in line with a relaxation of bus permit norms by the Centre, the MVD holds that the bus had no permission to operate a stage-carriage service.

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