Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s plan to privatise 5,100 RTC bus routes to beat the ongoing RTC strike took a hit after Telangana High Court extended the stay on the privatisation of RTC routes until November 18.

The cabinet, chaired by the CM, had approved the privatisation of 5,100 RTC routes on November 3 as an alternative measure to ensure bus services to people. The RTC service was hot after employees declared a strike, which entered its 41st day on Friday, on October 5.

A Division Bench of the HC decided while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the Vice President of the Telangana Jana Samithi Dr PL Visweswar Rao.

Arguing the case before HC, Advocate General of the state, BS Prasad, submitted the cabinet decision in sealed cover regarding privatisation of the permits of the RTC in the state. Surprised, HC asked the reason for the submission of a copy of the cabinet decision in a sealed cover.

It also asked the AG to reveal the contents of the cabinet decision in an open court. When the AG refused to disclose the contents in the court hall, the Bench called him, along with Telangana Transport Commissioner and heard explanations in person.

The AG then told the Bench that they would make public the contents of the cabinet decision only after the issuance of a Government Order (GO) on the issue. The Bench later perused the contents of the cabinet decision and directed the counsel for the petitioner to amend the prayer. HC adjourned the case hearing until November 18.

It may be recalled that in its interim order, the Division Bench of the HC directed the state government and RTC authorities not to take any steps precipitating the situation due to privatisation of 5,100 RTC routes in compliance of the state cabinet decision.

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