Kozhikode: Kerala Motor Vehicle Department here on Tuesday seized a bus of IndiGo airlines for evading road tax worth Rs 40,000.
The bus which conducts service in Karipur Airport was seized on Tuesday evening when it was brought to a workshop at Feroke here for repair works.
It is learnt that IndiGo has to settle the tax dues for six months. Later, MVD informed the airline authorities that the vehicle would be released only after paying the fine and the tax dues.
A team led by the Joint RTO seized the bus as per the direction of the district RTO. MVD also dismissed rumours that they seized the vehicle in the backdrop of ongoing strife between the state government and IndiGo airlines over the travel ban on EP Jayarajan.
"Earlier, we were unable to take any action since the bus was functioning inside the airport premises," claimed the officials.
MVD intercepted the bus in nearby Feroke and fined it as the bus had defaulted payment of road tax for a few months and had been booked under Sec 11 of the Motor Vehicle Taxation Act.
A senior officer said it was part of a routine checking that the bus was booked and fined for tax arrears.
He said the vehicle has not been seized. "It is parked in the workshop and will be released once the tax dues plus a penalty of Rs 7500 is remitted", the officer said.
"It is a vehicle that operates inside the Calicut (Karipur) airport and seldom comes out. We have no jurisdiction in the airport premises and hence we check all vehicles that operate inside restricted areas like airports when those come out. This was also one such and part of a normal checking routine," the officer told PTI.
The airline has not reacted to it.
The move by the department came a day after the IndiGo airlines banned convenor of state's ruling LDF, E P Jayarajan, from flying in its carrier for three weeks.
The airline has been in news in Kerala after two Youth Congress activists, who flew in an IndiGo flight in which the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Jayarajan were travelling from Kannur last month, had shown black flags and shouted slogans against the Chief Minister after the plane landed in Thiruvananthapuram airport.
In a stunning move, Jayarajan instantaneously intervened and allegedly pushed them down.
An internal inquiry conducted by the airlines found Jayarajan guilty and had on Monday banned him from flying in their carrier for next three weeks.
Irked by the ban, Jayarajan has said neither he nor his family would ever travel by IndiGo.
The internal committee set up by the airline has also imposed a two-week flying ban on two Youth Congress workers.
(with inputs from PTI)