Hyderabad

Reconsider stand on RTC strike: HC to govt.

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More learned and mightier persons should be more polite, says CJ

Observing that a king should be like a father figure to people, the Telangana High Court on Thursday appealed to the State government to reconsider its stand on the ongoing strike of Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) employees.

After hearing contentions of Advocate General B.S. Prasad and Chief Secretary S.K. Joshi, both of whom opined that striking RTC workers were “not budging a bit”, the HC remarked that the State, being mightier, should take the initiative to hold talks. “More learned and more mightier persons should be more polite and more sparing,” Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauahn said.

The CJ, along with Justice A. Abhishek Reddy, was hearing a batch of PILs and writ petitions on the RTC strike. Four days ago, the bench had directed the CS, TSRTC MD in-charge Sunil Sharma, Principal Finance Secretary K. Ramakrishna Rao and GHMC Commissioner Lokesh Kumar to appear before it, observing that affidavits filed by them on State’s financial assistance to TSRTC were self-contradictory.

Complying with the HC directions, all the officials turned up at First Court hall. When the AG said the State had already appealed to the agitating workers to resume duties, the CJ said that was not an appeal. Giving an option of either do this or that cannot be an appeal, the bench remarked. “Was it a promise or threat,” the bench asked referring to the appeal.

The CJ said that both government and the striking employees should negotiate and ensure the people were not put to difficulties. “But the government is not willing to walk the extra mile” to resolve the issue, the CJ said. The bench expressed displeasure over the government’s response over its previous request to release ₹49 crore to concede four of the 45 demands of the agitating employees.

Releasing that money would be the first step towards building confidence among the workers but the government said it did not have money, the bench noted. “The government’s posturing on that request was so stark that even the one per cent of hope of resolving the issue evaporated,” the CJ said. Noting that “Telangana government had taken up some fantastic projects, for example like financial support to farmers,” the bench wondered why it was not showing similar generosity on the RTC strike issue.

“When the government had borrowed thousands of crores for an irrigation project, why not an extra straw on your back? One small straw would not make the State bankrupt,” the CJ remarked.

Responding to the CJ’s observations, the CS said he would convey the message to the government. The hearing was posted for Monday.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 6:15:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/reconsider-stand-on-rtc-staff-strike-hc-to-ts-govt/article29912768.ece

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