Kochi : The Kerala High Court on Thursday ordered Popular Front of India to deposit a sum of Rs 5.20 crores in damages they caused during their illegal flash strike last Friday. The loss amount is based on government estimates and that of KSRTC, the state transporter whose numerous buses were stone pelted and attacked by PFI workers resulting in shattered glasses, stranding of passengers and suspension of services.
The compensation amount must be deposited in two weeks with the Additional Chief Secretary.
Backdrop : The PFI called a dawn-to-dusk hartal in the state on 23 September, reacting to countrywide raids on its offices and residences of members that were followed by arrests of several leaders including senior figures.
Message : In the ruling, the Division Bench comprising Jusices AK Jayasankaran Nambiar and Mohammed Nias CP took strong view against flash strikes and said “Flash Hartals in this State are not going to happen irrespective of political views, party or anyothers. Life of citizens cannot be put in peril. The message is loud and clear. If anybody does it this will be the consequence. You can have your organisation, you can have your demonstration against any cause. The Constitution permits it, but no flash hartals.”