Telangana High Court seeks detailed report on RTC strike

TSRTC employees staging a dharna at Jubilee Bus Station in the city on Thursday.

TSRTC employees staging a dharna at Jubilee Bus Station in the city on Thursday.  

Asks State government to look into the issue of private drivers refusing to accept bus passes

Describing the report presented by the State government on the ongoing strike by TSRTC employees as vague, the Telangana High Court on Thursday instructed it to come up with a detailed one.

Hearing arguments in a PIL over the strike, a Bench of the vacation court comprising Justice A. Rajasheker Reddy and Justice A. Abhishek Reddy posted the matter to Tuesday for next hearing. The Bench directed Advocate General B.S. Prasad and Additional Advocate General J. Ramchander Rao to explain in detail the steps taken by the government to help public in the backdrop of the strike.

After going through the photographs submitted by the government along with the report, the Bench observed that a majority of buses were at the depots. It wondered how people were travelling every day in the absence of buses. “While coming to the HC, I did not see buses plying on the road... which speaks volumes of the steps taken by the government,” Justice A. Rajasheker Reddy said.

The judge also told the AG and the AAG that it has come to its notice that bus passes were not being accepted by private drivers. The Bench made it clear that the government should immediately look into the matter and ensure that passes were accepted in all buses.

Senior counsel D. Prakash Reddy appearing for RTC Telangana Mazdoor Union in the PIL filed by OU research scholar R. Subender Singh said the strike by RTC workers was legal. Though the government was resorting to false propaganda accusing the workers of causing inconvenience to people during Dasara festival, the workers had given notice well in advance on the matter.

He contended that the RTC employees were compelled to go on strike as the government failed to look after their welfare in the past two years. Lawyer B. Rachna Reddy, representing the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of TSRTC unions, told the court that the State government had withdrawn ₹545 crore from the TSRTC cooperative credit society. This resulted in denial of loans to employees, she said.

The AAG, J. Ramchander Rao, said the RTC workers went on strike without considering the fact that people would be put to great inconvenience. The government was geared up to handle the situation as it made buses, drivers and conductors available in depots. At this stage, the Bench asked the AAG if he meant that there were no passengers to avail the services. The AG, B.S. Prasad, said there was no public interest in the plea. By obstructing the operation of buses, the RTC workers were proving that they were not interested in serving the people, he said.

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Printable version | Jun 7, 2020 9:10:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/high-court-seeks-detailed-report-on-rtc-strike/article29650233.ece

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