HYDERABAD: In a new twist in the TSRTC tale, the legal validity of the corporation’s existence came under a cloud on Thursday, when the Centre, through its counsel, told the Telangana High Court that it had not yet approved the bifurcation of the APSRTC.
The TSRTC has no legal sanctity to exist since no approval has been granted for the bifurcation into two corporations for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the Central government said during the hearing on the employees’ strike.
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The TSRTC is functioning purely as a temporary arrangement, and though the Centre has a 33 per cent equity share, it has no liability towards the TSRTC until and unless the bifurcation is approved, it added.
Assistant Solicitor General (ASG) N Rajeshwar Rao, appearing for the Centre, made these submissions before the division bench comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A Abhishek Reddy, dealing with a batch of petitions seeking to declare the ongoing strike, as well as the government’s and RTC management’s failure in resolving the employees’ demands, as illegal.
In response, the chief justice asked whether the AP and Telangana governments had any correspondence with the Centre on the issue of bifurcation. “Why has the Centre not yet given its nod for bifurcation of the corporation under Section 47(A) of the Transport Act, 1950 and what made it keep this issue under wraps for... over five years?” he asked.
CJ refutes claim of TSRTC being a new corporation
Not agreeing with State Advocate General BS Prasad’s submission that the TSRTC was a newly-established corporation, the chief justice said that then the issue of questioning the Centre, regarding bifurcation of assets and liabilities of the erstwhile APSRTC between the two states in the ratio of 58:42, does not arise.
Consent from the Centre is conspicuously missing, he said, adding that if the TSRTC was reconstituted, then it had to wait for the Centre’s consent. When the AG sought time to examine the issue, the bench posted the matter to November 11.
HC blasts officials for ‘fudged’ figures
“The officials have filed false affidavits...” the CJ said, adding that the court was being taken for a ride.
Court again asks state to release Rs 49 crore
It would be the first step for negotiations, to meet four minimum demands of the striking TSRTC employees.