The separation of men and women on so-called 'kosher' bus lines is illegal, a report by the Transportation Ministry said Tuesday.
The ministry's report, handed to the High Court of Justice, says that according to the law anyone can sit wherever he or she pleases on public transportation.
It says the passengers on the bus can decide to sit in a certain order, but that this order would not be recognized by the ministry or enforced by it.
The High Court panel, composed of Justice Elyakim Rubenstein, Justice Salem Jubran, and Justice Yoram Dantziger debated the report after it was handed to them Tuesday morning.
The judges ordered that each side deliver its response to the report to the minister of transportation, and that the state would be required to deliver its own response within 30 days. At this point the court will give its verdict.
Prior to the court hearing members of the Wake Up Jerusalem activists' group, led by Rachel Azaria of the Jerusalem City Council, protested the 'kosher' bus lines outside the courthouse.
The High Court first began to debate the issue of the haredi bus lines in 2007, after which the Transportation Ministry established a committee to examine the matter and give its professional opinion.
The committee has summoned experts from both sides to give their opinion on the matter, and in the meantime received a number of court extensions on the date in which it would have to present its conclusions. On Tuesday another extension was requested, but the court demanded the committee hand in its report.