Updated: November 23, 2021 4:49:43 am
The Bombay High Court on Monday directed a three-member committee to submit a preliminary report by next month on the issue related to the demand by workers of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) to be treated as employees of the state government.
The court directed the committee, which was set up on November 8 on the court’s order, to give an opportunity to be heard to all parties including the unions, whose members are currently on a strike across the state.
A division bench of Justice Prasanna Varale and Justice Shiram Modak also said that the general public including students of schools and colleges are facing difficulty due to the non-availability of transport. It said that those employees who are willing to ply buses should be permitted. “We expect that Respondent number 2 (Maharashtra Rajya Kanishth Vetanshreni ST Karmachari Sanghatana) would not indulge in any act causing disturbance to the transport service or the passengers and would not take any step which would be violent in nature. We further make it clear that if any such incident takes place, the state government ensure that immediate action is initiated against such mischief players,” the bench said.
The counsel for the state government submitted to the court that the committee appointed on directions of the court had called upon the unions. “Let the committee on hearing these organisations as well as the MSTRC and state, form a preliminary opinion and it be placed before the court for its perusal,” the court said directing it to be submitted on December 20.
The counsel for the MSRTC submitted that those employees willing to ply buses were being obstructed by striking union members assembled at the depot gates. The union’s counsel opposed this stating that the strike has been peaceful and non-violent and its members would not indulge in obstruction. The union’s counsel submitted that its members had committed suicide and sought for an amicable solution to be reached soon. The state government counsel had submitted minutes of the meeting held by the committee, where members of the ST Karmachari Sanghatana had submitted a written representation.
During the hearing, the court said that the state government had announced the reopening of schools and colleges from Class VIII. The court said they are now facing difficulty in reaching their educational institutions after nearly two years of distance learning due to the ST strike.
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