Should not overload boats, display max passengers permissible: Kerala HC

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Kochi: Kerala High Court on Friday come up with a set of directions to avert any further boat accidents in the state. The move comes as a part of the suo-moto case proceedings following the Tanur boat tragedy, that claimed 22 lives.

Kerala HC said that all boats must display a notice informing the maximum passenger limit to be allowed onboard while conducting services.

The court stated that the owner and 'driver srank' would be held liable if the boat carried passengers beyond the permissible limit.

A notice, written in Malayalam and English, must be displayed on the boat's door and should inform the maximum number of passengers permitted on board. It should specify the permissible number of passengers allowed on lower and upper decks at a time.

The order was issued by the division bench of Justices Devan Ramachandran and Sofi Thomas.

The court remarked that a boat accident occurred as a result of overloading. The court viewed that the state could attract tourists only if their safety is ensured. It highlighted the importance of responsible tourism.

The court has appointed Advocate Syam Kumar as amicus curiae to help the court on the case. It asked the government to strengthen the existing law and roll out measures to ensure that such accidents do not happen in the future.

The court also remarked that it faced a cyber attack for its remark on the death of Dr Vandana Das. Some are framing the court as anti-government, it noted. Justice Devan Ramachandran said that everyone should realise that the court is speaking for everyone.

The court will next consider the case on June 7.

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