"As counsel for BSRTC sought one month's time instead of two weeks given by the court to deposit the amount of Rs.4.9 crore, the court said that they should not get even one day, and ruled out any extension."
New Delhi, July 3 - The Supreme Court Thursday frowned at Bihar government for not paying the retirement and other dues of the employees who had worked with Bihar State Road Transport Corporation but were now caught up in competing claims between it and Jharkhand after the state's bifurcation in 2000.

You are a welfare state. You have to work for the welfare of the people. You (BSRTC) are an instrumentality of the State. This is not the way you function. They are dying of hunger. They are starving. You are not ready to pay, said a bench of Chief Justice R.M. Lodha, Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Kurian Joseph frowning at the position taken by the state government.

Directing the BSRTC to deposit Rs.4.9 crore with the apex court registry, Chief Justice Lodha said that people can't die when there is a fight between two states. This is what happens when states are divided.

They are dying of hunger and starvation. You must have a human consideration, the court said pulling up the BSRTC n as counsel for the employees said that it was nearly 14 years and a number of employees who had retired have not been paid their retirement dues and other benefits, while some of them have also died.

As the court said that if the claims were genuine, then they could not be held back on mere technicalities, the counsel said that there was no dispute over the claims but a dispute on who will pay.

The court then asked Bihar to pay.

You make the payment, if later it is found that it was Jharkhand which had to pay then we will make it reimburse the amount with interest. We can't close our eyes, the court said adding that the erstwhile employees are dying because they were not being paid while there is litigation between Bihar and Jharkhand on the issue.

Chief Justice Lodha said: You can't deal with such matters where the consequence is life and death.

As counsel for BSRTC sought one month's time instead of two weeks given by the court to deposit the amount of Rs.4.9 crore, the court said that they should not get even one day, and ruled out any extension.

The case relates to 80 employees of BSRTC who have retired but have not received their retirement dues and other benefits on account of dispute between Bihar and Jharkhand on their status.


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