PFI hartal: Kerala govt's delay to complete recovery process, HC expresses displeasure

Broken windshield of a KSRTC bus after some miscreants threw stones on it, during the 'hartal' called by PFI on Sept 23, 2022 | Photo: PTI

Kochi: Kerala High Court on Wednesday expressed its displeasure over the lacklustre approach of the state government in realisation of losses caused during a hartal observed by the banned outfit Popular Front of India (PFI).

The division bench directed the government to speed up measures to complete the confiscation process. Further, a report has to be submitted in court on Monday regarding measures taken in each district as part of the recovery. The government need not have to issue notices for confiscation, the court noted.

Earlier, the additional chief secretary of the state assured in writing that the recovery of damages worth Rs 5.20 crore would be completed by January 15. However, this was not adhered to and that's why court openly questioned the state government's snail-paced approach.

The High Court, on September 30, ordered PFI and its office-bearers to deposit Rs 5.20 crore within two weeks towards public damages caused by the violence that erupted during the illegal "flash hartal" conducted by PFI on September 23. Later, the high court directed the state government to confiscate the properties to recover the losses.

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