HC pulls up State for not paying dues of ₹3,000 crore to MSRTC

‘Unfortunate scenario’ should be avoided, losses brought down, says court

The Bombay High Court recently said the government not reimbursing more than ₹3,000 crore to the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) was an unfortunate scenario that had to be avoided, and the government must bring down the continued losses of the corporation.

A Division Bench of Justices S.C. Dharmadhikari and R.I. Chagla was hearing a public interest litigation filed by advocate Datta Mane.

Appearing in person, Mr. Mane said the MSRTC should not be permitted to cancel concessions because the State government has not cleared its dues.

On August 12, 2015, the counsel appearing for the MSRTC told the court that the corporation was awaiting reimbursement of more than ₹3,000 crore. The MSRTC gives concessions on tickets to 25 categories of passengers, including persons with disabilities, freedom fighters, senior citizens, students and sportsmen.

Earlier this month, various government departments were yet to release the dues to be paid to the corporation. Mr. Mane contended that the welfare implemented by the MSRTC resulted in operational losses year after year. Further, the corporation does not have adequate funds to upgrade and improve services.

He said if State transport services have to be efficient, smooth and expeditious, the MSRTC is aware that it will have to compete with private bus operators. The private operators have managed to virtually take over routes on which the corporation operates. Being a government enterprise does not mean the MSRTC should continue to incur losses, Mr. Mane said.

The court said, “We would like the secretary of the Transport Department to take up this issue with the other functionaries of the government and resolve it as expeditiously as possible.”

It said secretaries of the departments concerned should cooperate with the Transport Department and resolve the matter amicably.

The Bench said, “The MSRTC is not expected to incur losses or indulge in litigation for it is an enterprise or undertaking of the State. It is not expected to then launch proceedings, civil and criminal, against the other departments of the government. This unfortunate scenario has to be avoided and the continued losses of this corporation have to be brought down with sincere and genuine efforts.”

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 6:05:15 AM |

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