The Apex Court expressed concern over non-payment of dues to employees who are now caught between the competing claims between Bihar and Jharkhand after the bifurcation of the state in 2000.

"You are a welfare state. You have to work for 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 and you are not ready to pay," a bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha said.

It said people cannot be left to die because of fight between two states and directed BSRTC to pay the amount within two weeks.

“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 bench said.

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.

(Agencies)

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