Hyderabad: The ongoing TSRTC strike had a new angle in a fresh writ petition before the division bench of the High Court on Friday. The bench comprising Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A Abhishek Reddy made it clear that the government will take no steps that could deteriorate the present scenario or precipitate matters.
The bench was hearing a writ plea filed by Prof PL Vishweswar Rao, convenor, Telangana Democratic Forum challenging the proposed move to privatise of 5100 routes presently run by TSRTC. The petitioner asked the court to declare as ‘illegal’ the action of the Government in taking decision on November 2 to privatise routes instead of continuing negotiations with RTC trade unions. He argued that the move to privatise routes was ‘unconstitutional, unreasonable, arbitrary and also mockery of Constitution of India, Road Transport Corporation Act 1950 and Motor Vehicles Act 1988’.
Advocate General B S Prasad Rao appearing for the government pointed out that an order of such restraint could not be passed without looking at the cabinet decision. When the bench asked for copy of decision, he pleaded privilege. The Chief Justice pointed out that while the decision of the cabinet could not be a secret document and should be one in public domain, he reasoned that in any event it cannot be a privileged document qua the court.
The Advocate General then stated that the government is entitled to raise its objections and state its stance in detail. In the interregnum, he said, there should not normally be in order stalling cabinet decision. He also pointed out that, apex court earlier ruled a decision of cabinet cannot be challenged in itself unless and until action is taken on such cabinet decision. The bench, however, thought it necessary to ensure that the matter is not precipitated and passed the orders. The bench directed the matter to be listed for further adjudication on November 11.