SHIMLA: The HRTC employees called off the strike and joined duties on Wednesday morning after the government filed a contempt petition in the court against the JCC (Joint Consultation Committee) for willful defiance of the orders passed by High Court on June 13 and 14. Transport minister G.S.Bali said that the employee leaders who instigated or, misguided or intimidated the employees to go on strike would face stringent action as per the service rules.“The matter is pending in the court and we will take appropriate action after the matter was disposed off”, he added. Bali outrightly rejected the demand of the JCC to convert the HRTC into Roadways and said that all the employees had joined the HRTC and as such the demand is untenable.
He said that the HRTC had accepted most of the demands of the employees. “Some demands were being negotiated but the employees chose to go on strike, disrupt the public transport system, causing inconvenience and hardship to commuters.”DP Court rejects the ‘oral apology’ tendered by the HRTC employees through their counsel, says HRTC management is free to take action against the erring employees HRTC strike ends: DP Correspondent Shimla Even as the HRTC strike ended on Wednesday morning without any fresh talks after the government filed a contempt petition, the Himachal Pradesh High Court came down heavily on striking Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) employees for willfully defying the orders of the Court and resorting to strike.
The Court later rejected the ‘oral apology’ tendered by the employee leaders through their counsel and also ordered that employees, who fail to report to duty by 3.00 pm, be placed under suspension. Passing the orders on a petition filed by the government, informing the Court that the HRTC employees have gone on strike in spite of orders passed by HC on June 13 and 14 asking them not to go on strike, a division bench of High Court consisting of Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Sandeep Sharma said “Since all the striking employees despite the directions of the Court have not joined back on duty by calling off the strike, the apology at this stage cannot be accepted.”
“Apology is an act of contrition and unless it is offered in good grace, the apology is shorn of penitence and hence it is liable to be rejected,” the bench said. The bench further said that if the apology is offered at the time when the contemnor finds that the court is going to impose punishment, it ceases to be an apology and becomes an act of a cringing coward. “The apology is not a weapon of defence to purge the guilty of their offence nor is it intended to operate as universal panacea, but it is intended to be evidence of real contriteness,” the court said.
The court said that the petitioners have also supplied a list of the employees who had gone on strike and they are ordered to be arrayed as respondents No. 7 to 24 in the instant petition. In such circumstances, those of the employees, including the respondents herein, who did not report back on duty, are afforded time uptill 3:00 pm or else, they be placed under suspension. The bench said if any person or persons are found disassociating the other employees from joining back to their duties or otherwise disrupting the smooth functioning of HRTC or creating any hindrance, the management of the HRTC shall be free to report such incident(s) to the police and needless to say, the necessary follow up action in accordance with law shall be taken and if need be and the erring employees can also be arrested. The bench made clear that the order passed by this Court will in no manner prevent the Management of HRTC from initiating or resorting to any other action against the erring employees.-
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