Employees told to resume duty by April 22

Mumbai, April 7 : The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the striking workers of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corp (MSRTC) to resume duty by April 22. Remarking that in a fight between a lion and a lamb the lamb has to be protected, a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta asked the MSRTC not to take any action against the workers. “We will keep our constitutional ideals in mind that when it is a fight between the lion and the lamb, the lamb has to be protected,” said Justice Datta. The court was hearing a contempt petition filed by MSRTC against its employees who have been on strike since the midnight of November 3-4 last year. Their demand was that the MSTRTC be merged with the state government and that they should be treated at par with the government employees. Earlier, the court gave the workers time till April 15 to resume duty. Today it extended this till April 22. “We are extending the date till April 22. The workers should not repeat the offences in future,” said Justice Datta. While extending the date to join work, the court said that only those workers who resume duty will be protected whereas those who do not resume work will do so at their own risk and peril. The Maharashtra government told the court on Tuesday that it had accepted the recommendations of the three-member committee which said that it was not feasible to merge MSRTC with the state government. AAA MR

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