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'Worst Time To Strike' : Karnataka High Court On Transport Employees Strike

Mustafa Plumber
20 April 2021 1:20 PM GMT
Worst Time To Strike : Karnataka High Court On Transport Employees Strike
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The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday observed that "perhaps this is possibly the worst time to take recourse to the strike," while issuing notice to Karnataka State Road Transport Employees League, which has called for an indefinite strike of all bus services run by the four road transport corporations in the state, from April 7. A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and...

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The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday observed that "perhaps this is possibly the worst time to take recourse to the strike," while issuing notice to Karnataka State Road Transport Employees League, which has called for an indefinite strike of all bus services run by the four road transport corporations in the state, from April 7.

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj while hearing a petition filed by one S NATARAJ SHARMA issued the notice returnable on Thursday.

The court said "We hope and trust that without compromising on the demands made by the union, it will come forward before the court with an assurance to everybody that service of these four entities will be immediately resumed so that the common man who is already under huge stress does not suffer further."

During the hearing of a batch of petitions, Advocate General Prabhuling K Navadgi informed the court that the state has invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) and cases have been booked. Further he submitted that almost 90 percent of the bus service in the state, of the four entities, KSRTC, NEKRTC BMTC, NWKRTC, have been pralaysed. The state government has moved the labour court and which has declared the strike as illegal. He added that "The demand is to treat all employees of road transport corporation as government employees this is almost an impossible task and unviable."

Advocate G R Mohan, appearing for one of the petitioners, informed the court about the hardship faced by the common man and that inter-city movement of citizens has been totally stopped due to the ongoing strike.

The bench in its order said "It cannot be disputed that disruption of bus services of these four entities has affected common man in most difficult times. Practically the entire state is in the grip of a sudden surge of Covid-19 cases, there have been a large number of deaths, due to covid-19. The buses run by these four entities are perhaps the cheapest mode of transport available to the common man. People have to report to their duty, they have to go to the vaccination center for taking a vaccine, this is the time when this service available to the common man is most needed."

It added "We are not on the correctness or legitimacy of the demand put forth by the union. But we are of the view that apart from legality or illegality in present difficult situations placed due to Covid-19, such strikes will violate Fundamental Rights of citizens under Article 21, of the Constitution of India. Perhaps this is possibly worst time to take recourse to the strike assuming that demands made by the union are legitimate."

After the order was dictated the bench orally said "Today is not the time we should decide whether demands are legitimate or not today is the time when this must be resolved and the functioning of the bus services must start. It even suggested "We will try to mediate, we don't mind appointing a prominent person to mediate but this needs to be resolved."


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