HC asks government, RTC workers to hold talks

Telangana High Court.

Telangana High Court.   | Photo Credit: KVS Giri

Government asked to report by Friday the outcome of talks

Expressing empathy with the common public facing difficulties in reaching their destinations, the Telangana High Court on Tuesday told both the striking employees of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) and the State government to hold talks to resolve the issue at the earliest.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A. Abhishek Reddy asked the government to inform it by Friday about the outcome of the talks. The Bench directed Advocate General B.S. Prasad to convince the government to bring the striking workers to negotiating table.

The Bench also observed that neither the government nor the agitating employees can afford to be rigid on the strike. Ultimately, the common person, school-going children, the elderly and the women would suffer if the strike was continued, the Bench noted. The Bench also advised the employees unions to call off the strike and participate in the talks with the government.

Nine pleas

As the strike entered the 11th day on Tuesday, the HC began hearing nine pleas, four of them Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petitions and the remaining writ petitions, on the strike. The CJ sought to know from the AG as to why the government had not invited the employees for talks after they started strike on October 5. He also asked why the government did not take measures to ensure the citizens were not to put to difficulties in reaching their destinations because of the strike.

Additional Advocate General J. Ramchander Rao told the Bench that the government decided to take the strike issue to the Labour Court under the Industrial Disputes Act.

He said the demands put forward by the employees were beyond the capacity of the government. Differing with the AAG’s contention, the Bench observed that it would take months to resolve issues in Labour Courts.

“Does the government want people to suffer that long,” the Bench asked the AAG. The CJ noted that the government cannot exhibit such stubborn stand towards its employees. At this stage, the CJ asked as to what prevented the government from appointing a regular chairman and managing director to the TSRTC when so many top civil servants were at its disposal.

In the absence of a CMD, who will the employees look up to resolve their grievances, the Bench asked.

The CJ observed that the government’s assurance of deploying private buses for people’s convenience and extension of holidays to educational institutions was self-contradictory.

Referring to newspaper reports about statements that employees who did not join duties after October 5 were “self-dismissed”, the CJ remarked that “we are in a democratic society not still in British era.... the government should be more caring towards its employees...”

The Bench would hear the matter again on Friday.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 4:21:33 AM |

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