Hyderabad: A two Judge bench of the Telangana High Court, hearing the cases pertaining to the TSRTC issue, on Tuesday wondered if the writ petition challenging the move by the State government to privatise certain RTC routes was not premature.
The bench comprising Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A Abhisekh Reddy pointedly asked the petitioner’s counsel, Chikkudu Prabhakar, as to how the challenge was maintainable at this stage. The bench was dealing with a public interest litigation moved by retired professor P L Vishweswar Rao, challenging the intended action of the State government to privatise certain routes presently being run by the State-owned corporation.
After prolonged arguments by the counsel on issues relating to effects and far-reaching consequences of privatisation, the bench pointed out that the decision of the State Cabinet was restricted to initiating the process to permit private operators in 5,100 routes. Referring to the challenge on the ground of procedural irregularities, the bench said the Cabinet nod was only to initiate the process. At this stage therefore, the bench wondered if the allegations of procedural irregularities can be gone into.
The petitioner’s counsel referred to section 102 of Motor Vehicle Act which required the “State Government shall publish any modification proposed under sub-section (1) in the Official Gazette and in one of the newspapers in the regional languages circulating in the area in which it is proposed to be covered by such modification, together with the date, not being less than thirty days from such publication in the Official Gazette, and the time and place at which any representation received in this behalf will be heard by the State Government.” The notice must also be given to any other person who, in the opinion of the State government, is likely to be affected by the proposed modification, he contended.
The bench will continue to hear the matter on Wednesday.