The Kerala High Court on Wednesday hauled up the Kerala government for delay in recovery of damages from banned Popular Front of India (PFI) activists who went on a rampage on September 23 in a flash shutdown called to protest the arrest of their top brass by Central agencies the previous day.
On December 23, the state had informed the court that the total damage caused to properties across the state amounted to Rs 5.20 crore.
The same day, the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) V.Venu, who was asked to be present before the court, tendered an apology for the delay and explained measures being taken by the government to recover the damages. He stated that the steps for recovery will be done before January 15 and requested a time for a month to complete all the procedures.
But on Wednesday, the court while clearly expressing its displeasure on the tardy progress asked the state government to ensure that they submit a report before the court on January 23 that all recovery procedures have been completed in the districts and posted the case for January 24.
Incidentally, it was the division bench of Justices A.K. Jayasankaran Nambiar and C.P. Mohammed Nias took suo motu cognisance of the proceedings against the PFI and directed all the lower courts, wherever the cases have been registered, to see that no one from it should be let out on bail unless the compensation is paid.
If the compensation is not paid, then steps should be taken to confiscate personal assets of all those who indulged in the destruction, it said.