Hyderabad: The Telangana High Court on Tuesday directed the state government and striking employees of the state road transport corporation to set aside their differences and work towards an amicable settlement.
A division bench, comprising chief justice Raghvendra S Chauhan and Justice A Abhishek Reddy, hearing a batch of petitions on the strike, said the standoff was causing hardship to the public.
The state government cannot ignore the inconvenience caused to the public, the court said.
The chief justice advised the government to appoint a permanent managing director for the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) as a prelude to open a debate with workers even as he opined that the present crisis should be resolved within the parameters of Industrial Disputes Act.
Counsel for the corporation informed the court that the government was in no mood to go for conciliation as Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had declared that many of the striking employees were deemed to have been dismissed from their service.
In such a scenario, it would not be possible nor advisable for the court to ask only the workers to call off the strike as a precondition for negotiations, the counsel said. To this, the chief justice said he too has read the news reports and that such utterances should be taken as once made during a heated exchange of words.
He also expressed agony over the suicide committed by the employees and said the strike left indelible scars in the mind of the workers. The chief justice advised the workers to show a sense of accommodation to have discussions with the government.
The division bench adjourned the matter to October 18 with a direction to both the parties to inform the court about the steps taken by them towards resolving the issue.
To this, TSRTC-JAC (joint action committee) leader E Ashwathama Reddy said they were ready to hold talks with the government provided the unions were invited, until then the strike would go on.
The strike by nearly 48,000 employees of different unions of the TSRTC demanding fulfillment of their demands began on 5 October across the state resulting in its buses staying off the roads, causing inconvenience to commuters.
Since the strike began, two employees have ended their lives and three attempted suicide. The chief minister had ruled out talks with the employees or taking them back, terming the agitation as illegal.
Meanwhile, a police complaint was filed by advocate K Karuna Sagar accusing Chief Minister Rao and Transport Minister P Ajay of abetting the suicide of TSRTC driver Srinivas Reddy who committed self-immolation in Khammam last week and sought registration of a case against them.
The complainant alleged the driver went into depression after the chief minister made a statement that the striking employees got themselves 'self-dismissed' by not joining duty before the 5 October deadline.
A police official said a case over the driver's death had already been registered by the Khammam district police and the lawyer's complaint was forwarded to them.
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Updated Date: Oct 15, 2019 23:25:11 IST