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HC stays TS plan to privatise 50% bus routes

HC stays TS plan to privatise 50% bus routes
Highlights

In major setback to the TRS government, the Telangana High Court on Friday stayed the decision of the Cabinet to permit private transport operators to run buses on 5100 routes.

Hyderabad: In major setback to the TRS government, the Telangana High Court on Friday stayed the decision of the Cabinet to permit private transport operators to run buses on 5100 routes.

The High Court also pulled up the officials for not placing the proceedings of the Cabinet on the RTC though it had asked them to do so and posted the matter for November 11.

A division bench of the High Court, comprising Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice A Abhishek Reddy, gave the orders while hearing a petition filed by Telangana Democratic Forum convenor PL Vishweshwar Rao.

The petitioner said, "The move to privatise public transport was unconstitutional, unreasonable, arbitrary and also mockery of the Constitution of India, the Road Transport Corporation Act 1950 and the Motor Vehicles Act 1988."

Advocate-General BS Prasad Rao, appearing on behalf of the government, argued that the Cabinet decisions could not be disclosed and could not be challenged.

But the court did not agree with the him and said the Cabinet decisions cannot be considered as secret and they must be on the public domain.

The Bench said, "We don't like to precipitate the matter. The Cabinet decision on privatising 50% of the routes is stayed till further orders."

Meanwhile, the Regional Commissioner, Provident Fund, has issued notices to RTC Managing Director Sunil Sharma to deposit Rs 760 crore in the employees' accounts, failing which heavy penalty will be collected from the RTC management. The government had earlier asked the RTC management to pay Rs 450 crore towards transport tax.

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