Kochi: The High Court has issued an ultimatum to immediately confiscate the assets of Popular Front of India in the incident of violence under the guise of hartal. The court also directed to complete the confiscation proceedings and submit the district wise report immediately. It is suggested that the report be submitted by January 23.
The court’s order came while hearing a case taken up by the court on its own initiative regarding the damage caused by the Popular Front hartal. The petition was heard by the Division Bench of the High Court. The Division Bench has also clarified that there is no need to issue notice for confiscation proceedings.
Earlier, the court had expressed its displeasure and severely criticized the lack of movement for confiscation by the government. Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department, Dr. V. Venu, who was present in person, expressed his regret in the High Court for the delay in the action. The government had also assured that the confiscation process would be completed by January 15. The case was heard again today to check the progress in the proceedings. The petition is being considered by the division bench comprising Justice A K Jayasankaran Nambiar and Justice CP Muhammad Niaz.
After the NIA raided the popular front offices and arrested the leaders, the lightning hartal was unleashed in the state wide tension. The court also asked the leaders to pay Rs 5.2 crore as compensation for the attacks on the hartal. The court ordered the confiscation of the properties of the Popular Front of India and state general secretary A Abdul Sattar to recover the losses incurred during the hartal day.