The Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) to show compassion towards its workers and ensure they do not lose their livelihood because of the ongoing strike [Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) v. Sangarsh ST Kargar Sanghatan& Ors...A Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice MS Karnik was hearing a contempt petition filed by MSRTC seeking contempt of court action to be initiated against its striking workers for not resuming their duty despite court orders.Nearly 90,000 employees of one of the largest inter-city bus systems in the country, have been on strike since October 2021 seeking they be treated at par with the State government employees and that MSRTC be merged with the State government, amongst other demands.While refusing the merger, the State cabinet had accepted that for a period of four years the State government would provide financial assistance to the State transport body to meet the salaries of the employees.At the end of 4 years, the decision would be reviewed and it would be left to the MSRTC to take a call on whether to continue or not with the aid.With this clarity, the Bench requested Senior Advocate Aspi Chinoy to advice his client to grant time till April 15 to all the employees to resume duty including those who had been punished.“We would request the corporation to review their decision and take them back. …Do not terminate services. Do not take away their livelihood,” CJ Datta suggested..The Court also asked the counsel representing the employees to convey the message to resume their duty."Resume duty. It is unfortunate what has happened, and what happened. But do not lose your livelihood for this. …Let the workers come back to work. Let them not miss their livelihood and in the broader picture, let the public not suffer,” CJ stated.Chinoy however candidly stated that while the corporation would accept all employees who may have been punished for participating in the strike, he could not make a confident statement for those employees who had been charged with violence and destruction of property and would require instructions from the corporation on the same.“I cannot take my discretion in these matters, there are criminal cases pending, then I cannot say I will withdraw them without seeing the nature. If it is a matter of participation and illegal strike, no difficulty, we will take all those back. But violence that has led to damage to property and people, I am not sure without checking,” Chinoy stated..The Court, however, requested the organisation to give an opportunity to their employees as a last chance.“You give a date when they have to come back. If they do not come back then you are liberty to take action according to law. …You are a model employer. During testing times of COVID, people may not have acted according to their senses. Give them one chance. …because after all you will have to appreciate that when all this was happening it was not normal,” the Bench said..Chinoy sought a day’s time to take instructions and the Bench, therefore, posted the matter for hearing on Thursday.