Hyderabad: In a move that may break the continuing logjam, Telangana High Court on Friday nudged TSRTC management to hold negotiations with Telangana Mazdoor Union and other unions spearheading the ongoing employees’ strike on Saturday morning to resolve the crisis. It also opined that the management could favourably consider their 26 demands that do not have any financial implication for the corporation. It also asked unions to make extra effort to resolve the present crisis.
The Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A Abhishek Reddy came down heavily on the State Government for not taking any steps to implement its suggestion during the previous hearing to hold negotiations with the striking employees. “We fail to understand why the government is not willing to concede the least of the demands, regarding the appointment of a regular MD. The very fact of extension of holidays for educational institutions is an admission about continuing crisis,” said the Chief Justice. He further said that the attitude and approach of the government towards this issue was wrong. No confidence-building measures are being taken to resolve the crisis, he observed.
Additional Advocate General J Ramachandra Rao responded saying that it must be left to the state government as to how to deal with such a situation. The Bench responded, “If a small fire could not be contained, we have doubts about containing a spreading fire.” The Bench listed 26 out of 43 demands in the charter that do not have any financial implication for the corporation and wondered why those demands were not being considered. The AAG replied that the unions had insisted that the state must first merge RTC with the government and then consider the other demands.
Senior counsel appearing for the unions, D Prakash Reddy refuted the submission made by the AAG and clarified that the unions had not imposed any such condition in the negotiations with the high-level committee. He assured the Court that the unions are willing to participate in any negotiations if the management or government calls for it.
The Bench sounded a word of caution to the government saying that it must note the example of Philippines, whose powerful leader was changed within a year as people opposed him. When civil society speaks up, it must be heard by those in power. The Chief Justice also said that the government is like a father figure and the more power one has the more humility one must exhibit.
The Bench adjourned the hearing to October 28 and appealed to both parties to take concrete steps to resolve the crisis and report back to the Court.