The Kerala High Court on Friday issued directions to the government to ensure that the boats operating in the State are not overloaded and display prominently the maximum carrying capacity on each vessel. The court was hearing a suo motu PIL over the tragic boat accident that happened at Tanur on May 7 that claimed 22 lives, including 15 children. The bench, comprising Justices Devan Ramachandran and Sophy Thomas, noted that overloading was one of the major factors causing a boat accident. “…Therefore there is no doubt in our minds that the fundamental imperative is to ensure that every boat in Kerala is allowed to ferry or carry persons only to the maximum capacity as certified by the competent authority,” the court said. The Bench also directed that every boat should be asked to display a board on its conspicuous places, including points of entry and exit and also within its cabins, showing the maximum number of people that it should carry. The court appointed senior lawyer V M Shyamkumar as amicus curiae in the matter.
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