Common citizens should not suffer, the Bombay high court remarked on Friday while asking the Maharashtra government what steps it was taking to ”curb the menace” of illegal strikes, amid an agitation by state employees.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice Sandeep Marne was hearing an application filed by advocate Gunratan Sadavarte seeking the immediate withdrawal of the ongoing strike of the state government employees, including teaching and medical staff.
The state government employees declared an indefinite strike from March 14, seeking restoration of the Old Pension Scheme that was scrapped in 2005.
Advocate General Birendra Saraf told the court that the strike was ”illegal” and assured that the state government was making all endeavours to ensure that no person suffers due to the strike.
The bench asked the government to categorically say what steps it was taking to ensure that basic amenities and essential services are provided to the public.
”Our anxiety is that the common citizens should not be deprived of essential service. Common citizens should not suffer. We want to know what steps the state is taking to curb this menace. What are the modalities and steps the government is taking to ensure basic amenities and essential services are made available to people,” the court said.
The bench, while posting the matter for further hearing on March 23, noted that people have the right to protest but the government has to ensure steps are taken so that no one suffers.
Sadavarte submitted to the court that he was not against any person's fight for their rights but he was concerned about the lakhs of students, especially during board exams, and other persons facing difficulties due to the non-availability of health and teaching staff.