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SC asks Centre to give info on status of KAVACH implementation in railways

SC asks Centre to give info on status of KAVACH implementation in railways
New Delhi, The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Attorney General R. Venkataramani -- the highest law officer of the Union government -- to apprise it about the safety measures taken by the Railways to prevent train accidents, including the status of implementation of KAVACH anti-collision system on railway tracks.

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and K.V. Viswanathan was hearing a PIL seeking a direction to the Union government for the implementation of Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system called KAVACH Protection System in Indian Railways with immediate effect to ensure public safety after the lives of 292 passengers were claimed in Odisha's Balasore triple train tragedy where Coromandel Express and other two trains collided with each other in June last year.

The bench ordered: "At this stage, we direct the petitioner to handover a copy of the writ petition to the office of the learned Attorney General of India within two days. Learned Attorney General shall apprise the court on the next date of hearing with respect to the protective measures implemented or proposed to be implemented by the Government of India, including the KAVACH scheme."

The matter will be taken up for further hearing after a period of four weeks.

The plea, filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari, sought a direction to immediately set up an expert commission headed by a retired judge of the apex court and also consisting of technical members to analyse and review the current risk and safety parameters in the railway system and the panel should submit its report to the court.

The PIL stressed that with thousands and lakhs of passengers traveling daily on trains, it becomes absolutely necessary on the part of the authorities to ensure the basic implementation of safety and redress mechanisms like the KAVACH system, which would ensure safety for the people.

Citing various accidents over the years claiming hundreds of lives, the petition argued that with unregulated and negligent actions, there needs to be a strict judicial intervention, as this matters the concern of public safety and life which stands at the highest pedestal on the functioning of any state machinery.

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