17 Oct 2022 1:09 PM GMT
The Kerala High Court on Monday directed the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) to state on record whether the 'Single Duty System' has been introduced and if it has given any benefits, file a statement with specific figures and calculations.During the hearing of a case filed by the corporation's employees, Justice Devan Ramachandran said, "this Court has to ensure that the...
The Kerala High Court on Monday directed the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) to state on record whether the 'Single Duty System' has been introduced and if it has given any benefits, file a statement with specific figures and calculations.
During the hearing of a case filed by the corporation's employees, Justice Devan Ramachandran said, "this Court has to ensure that the KSRTC also survives. Without KSRTC, there can be no employees either. If we require a proactive decision in this regard, the Government should also stand with us".
The Court observed that it would have to be seen whether the Single Duty System was yielding any benefits, or whether it had any adverse impact of imposing strain on the employees.
The Court has been hearing a case filed by the workers of the KSRTC, who are aggrieved by a proposal mooted by the Corporation to implement 12 hours duty, in which eight hours would be for 'actual steering time', and the remaining 4 hours for rest.
Last month, It was argued by the petitioners, represented by Advocates V. Premchand and Surya Mohan P., that if they were forced to "be at the disposal of the employer for 12 hours – whether it be part of the "steering duty" or rest time – they are entitled to be paid salary for the entire period".
It had further been argued that the said proposal was contrary to the specific mandate of the Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961, since the statute proscribes a worker to be on work for more than eight hours a day and 48 hours a week, and thus, implementation of work for 12 hours a day would violate the stipulation, and was thus liable to be interdicted.
The Court had observed that,
"...when the KSRTC is now financially struggling, moored only by the anchor of the Government's assistance, I am certain that the proposal made by it to obtain efficacy cannot be peremptorily rejected and will have to be allowed to operate and put to experimental implementation, at least for a short period of time".
The Court had found merit in the position adopted by the government that unless modernization was attempted by the KSRTC, it would be adversarial for the petitioners also since the corporation would not be able to pay their salaries.
The Court further had added in this regard that, "...since it is admitted that KSRTC is in the "red", every stakeholder - including employees, management and others - will have to shoulder equal burden for bringing it out of the present imbroglio".
Case Title: T.K. Pradeep v. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation
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