As normal life continued to be hit for the second day on Wednesday in Kerala following the indefinite strike by private bus operators, the state High Court rapped the government for not taking appropriate action and warned that the court would step in.
No government can keep mum and if the government was not taking any steps, the court would step in to keep the house in order, a Division bench, comprising Chief Justice SR Bannurmath and Justice Thothathil B Radhakrishnan, warned.
"Why they are feeling shy to take appropriate action to face the strike," the bench asked when a petition by Forum for Awareness of Socio-Cultural Transformation (FAST), a women's organisation, came up before the court.
The petitioner had sought to cancel the permit of the private bus operators and to invoke ESMA (Essential Service Maintenance Act) against the operators.
The bench directed the government to inform the court about steps taken by them to face the ongoing bus strike, which, it said, also amounts to violation of license conditions and was against the Motor Vehicle Act. The bench also clarified that the interim order to invoke ESMA against the striking bus operators would be considered tomorrow.
Justice P N Ravindran had yesterday refused to hear petitions by private bus owners for renewal of permits and settlement of timings until they call off the strike.