HC to hear plea on RTC workers resuming duty

Commuters hanging onto the edges of the already-packed bus given the skeletal services operated in Hyderabad on Tuesday.

Commuters hanging onto the edges of the already-packed bus given the skeletal services operated in Hyderabad on Tuesday.  

‘The govt. has done nothing except watch the tragedy unfold’

With the Telangana High Court directing the petitioner to amend the prayer, a PIL plea over suicides and deaths of TSRTC workers during their strike period turned into a plea seeking instructions to the government to allow RTC workers to resume duty.

Though a specific date was not assigned for the plea, its hearing assumed importance in the backdrop of the TSRTC management’s decision not to allow the workers, who were on strike and called it off, to re-join duty. Originally, the PIL was filed by professor P.L. Vishweshwar Rao requesting the court to declare inaction of the government in avoiding the ‘suicides and deaths’ of striking TSRTC workers as illegal. It was tagged along with other PIL pleas on the TSRTC strike. A week ago, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A. Abhishek Reddy disposed of those pleas declaring that it cannot direct the government to hold negotiations with the striking workers. It also adjudicated another PIL challenging privatisation of 5,100 permits of the TSRTC, pronouncing that the government has power to do so.

The plea on suicides and deaths of RTC employees was eventually taken up and posted for Tuesday. Presenting his arguments, Mr. Rao, who filed the plea as party-in-person, told the court that the striking workers resorted to suicide due to desperation and uncertainty. “With the government not coming forward to take any steps, they were worried about their families with no salaries for the past two to three months,” Mr. Rao contended.

Quoting reports from The Hindu and other newspapers, the petitioner said over 25 RTC workers died while the strike was on. While some ended their lives, others died of cardiac arrest and other reasons, he said. The government did not initiate any measure except watching the tragedy unfold, Mr. Rao said.

Continuing his arguments, the petitioner said the agony and trauma of the RTC workers continued as the management refused to allow them to resume duty even after they called off the strike. At this stage, the Bench mentioned that the said point was not in his plea.

Agreeing to hear the issue of the RTC workers joining the duty, the Bench directed Mr. Rao to amend his prayer and file a petition afresh.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 1:46:20 AM |

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