The Kerala High Court on Monday rebuked the state government about a delay in the recovery of Rs 5.2 crore damages from banned outfit Popular Front of India and its office-bearer. It said the state’s attitude is disrespectful to the directions of the court.
The court, however, was informed during the hearing that the revenue department said it is “unfeasible" to complete this procedure within the stipulated time period of one month. Dissatisfied with the response, the court said, “We find the attitude of the state government, as discernible from the averments in the paragraphs of the affidavit extracted above, to be wholly unacceptable, and per se disrespectful to the directions of this court. The state government cannot adopt such a callous attitude when called upon to implement the directions of this court, especially in matters of public interest and involving destruction of public property."
The damages incurred by the PFI during a strike called in September was estimated to be Rs 5.2 crore. The division bench of Justices AM Jayasankaran Nambiar and Mohammed Nias CP, in its interim order, asked the additional chief secretary of the home department to be personally present on December 23 before the court.
The high court further said the deadline to comply with earlier directions will not be extended beyond January 31, 2023. “Nothing substantial has been done by the state government towards complying with the directions," the HC bench observed.
When the case was considered last month, the state government told the court that proper directions had been relayed to the revenue department for initiating recovery proceedings, and that it will be completed in a month.
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