Kochi, Dec 19 (PTI) Kerala High Court on Monday expressed displeasure over the delay in recovery proceedings in connection with the damage to public property in the State during the violence in the hartal called for by the now-banned Popular Front of India (PFI) and directed the State government to complete the same by January.
A Division Bench, headed by Justice Jayasankaran Nambiar, said the issue of damaging the property cannot be considered as a small matter and summoned the Home Secretary to appear on December 23.
Meanwhile, the State government sought at least six months for the recovery proceedings, which the court rejected.
The government had on November 7 told the court that a loss of Rs 86 lakh was incurred due to the damage to the property during the violence in the Statewide hartal in September.
The government had also submitted that a loss of Rs 16 lakh was suffered by private persons during the violence.
It had also said that the process to reclaim the loss from those who called for the violent hartal has been initiated.
The State government had said it has appointed former district judge P D Shargadharan as the Claims Commissioner.
A total of 724 people was apprehended as part of preventive detention, adding that all culprits have been identified and most of them arrested, State government had earlier said.
So far, the State police have registered a total of 361 cases and arrested 2,674 people.
Earlier, the High Court had asked the banned PFI and its ex-State general secretary to deposit Rs 5.2 crore with the Home Department towards damages estimated by the KSRTC and the State government in connection with the hartal-related violence saying they must be held accountable for it.
Sathar, when he was the State general secretary of the outfit, had called for the hartal against the nation-wide raids on PFI offices and arrests of its leaders, and then allegedly absconded.
Hours after the PFI was banned, he had issued a statement saying the outfit has been disbanded in the wake of the Home Ministry’s decision and subsequently, he was arrested. PTI COR RRT RRT NVG NVG
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