“The situation shocks the conscience of the court… a few people can hold the city to ransom...,” said the Bombay High Court on Tuesday, directing striking motormen to resume work immediately.
Less than 24 hours after motormen struck work, the Central Government moved the court asking that the motormen, who belonged to an unrecognised union, be directed to resume work.
Observing that the motormen had “no right” to strike work, the court asked them to resume service.
After the order was passed, the court was informed by an advocate that the motormen had called off the strike.
Earlier, the Centre’s Additional Solicitor General Darius Khambata and Central Government counsel Suresh Kumar appeared before the division bench of Acting Chief Justice J.N. Patel and Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari Khambata said the strike was illegal as the matter was pending before the industrial court. The union had assured the railways and the conciliation officer on April 29 that it would not go on strike. Also, the Industrial Act restrains them from going on strike when negotiations are on.
Justice Patel said: “Appeal to the motormen that you are ready to negotiate. Hope good sense prevails.” The judges also took the railways to task. “The railways had no time to consider appointing more motormen. Why don’t [the railways] get to the root of the matter? It should not happen again. It is a human rights issue,” said Justice Patel.