Transport Minister directs corporations to follow principles of natural justice

Amid protests by employees and trade unions against the alleged harassment of State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) workers in the name of disciplinary proceedings, the State government has promised to dispose of such cases on a day-to-day basis.

Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy told The Hindu that he had directed RTC managements to ensure natural justice while dealing with disciplinary proceedings. Dragging cases indefinitely would impact employees’ performance, he said. Mr. Reddy said he was aware of the agony of employees who faced disciplinary action.

The KSRTC Staff and Workers’Federation has been accusing managements of adopting anti-worker policy and imposing unfair punishments on workers. While an average two lakh disciplinary actions, including dismissals, were being initiated at the divisional level every year, another two lakh punishments were imposed at the depot level. Federation general secretary H.V. Ananthasubba Rao said Mr. Reddy had been apprised of their concerns. He said principles of natural justice were not being followed while initiating disciplinary action. “Large-scale imposition of punishments began after the division of the KSRTC,” Mr. Rao said.

Indiscriminate imposition of punishments invariably land in courts where the aggrieved employees and the RTCs would have to hire advocates, which was wasteful expenditure of public money.

Mr. Rao said the RTCs lacked a well-oiled and sophisticated personnel and industrial relations department. “IPS officials have been posted as Director (Personnel) at KSRTC. How can a police officer handle intricate human and industrial relations?,” he asked. The post had been vacant for a year, he added.

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