BENGALURU: The High Court on Saturday stayed the operation of the July 7 notification of the state government invoking the Karnataka Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) banning strike and thereby disruption of services by the staff and officials of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL). The Urban Development Department had invoked Section 3 of the ESMA as the BMRCL employees went on a flash strike after a clash between the staff and police personnel.
Justice B Veerappa passed the order after hearing a petition filed by the BMRCL Employees Union, Baiyappanahalli Metro Station Controller S Manjunath and Maintainer S Sagar, Peenya Depot. The judge issued notices to the Principal Secretary, Secretary, Urban Development Department, Government of Karnataka, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India and Managing Director of BMRCL.
The petitioners contended that it was the Central Act which was applicable to BMRCL and not the Karnataka Act. They said the exercise of powers under Section 3 of ESMA so as to bring BMRCL under the control of the state government, was illegal. Therefore, the state has no jurisdiction to issue the impugned notification and prohibit any form of strike, they contended.