RTC strike: State says ‘no’ to HC’s proposal

SC opposed formation of committees to adjudicate a matter: AG

The State government on Wednesday said that it was not in a position to accede to the ‘orders’ of the Telangana High Court to constitute a high-powered committee of three former judges of the Supreme Court to resolve the ongoing strike by TSRTC employees.

Chief Secretary S.K. Joshi filed an affidavit in the High Court, making this statement. The affidavit was presented to the division bench comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A. Abhishek Reddy hearing a batch of PIL and writ petitions seeking different directions on the ongoing TSRTC strike.

Expressing government’s inability to accept the HC order over formation of the committee, the CS requested the HC to refer the matter to the Labour Commissioner, who was seized of the issue, as per the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act-1947. The ID Act had adequate mechanism to adjudicate the matter, the affidavit said.

The CS also stated that the ID Act did not have any provisions for the formation of such committee with judges or any other dignitaries to reconcile the parties. Mr. Joshi described the ongoing strike by TSRTC employees as a subject of industrial dispute and said it was at the stage of being referred to the Labour Court by the appropriate authority.

According to him, the matter was not referred to the competent authority as the petitions and PIL pleas filed before the bench were pending for disposal. After receiving the affidavit, the bench asked lawyer Rapolu Bhaskar, who was counsel for one of the PIL petitioners, to continue his arguments. During the course of presenting contentions, Advocate General B. S. Prasad, citing a Supreme Court verdict, said the apex court opposed formation of committees to adjudicate a matter.

“The apex court said it was better for the courts not to appoint committees to finalise a petition,” the AG said. When Justice Abhishek Reddy asked him how that verdict could be applied to the present petition, the AG replied that there was no need that every case cited matched 100% with the petition on hand. “The ID Act has no scope for formation of any committee on the matter,” the AG remarked.

Next hearing on the matter was posted for November 18.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 10:24:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/rtc-strike-state-says-no-to-high-court-proposal/article29964803.ece

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