Assets of PFI activists confiscated for damage to public property

The Kerala Government on Monday submitted a report to the High Court to the effect that properties belonging to 248 Popular Front of India activists have been confiscated to recover Rs5.2 crore for the damage to public property caused by its workers during a hartal called by the organisation in September last year.

K RAVEENDRANUpdated: Tuesday, January 24, 2023, 02:29 AM IST
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The PFI flag | File Photo

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Government on Monday submitted a report to the High Court to the effect that properties belonging to 248 Popular Front of India activists have been confiscated to recover Rs5.2 crore for the damage to public property caused by its workers during a hartal called by the organisation in September last year.

The compliance follows a final warning set by a division bench of the High Court to the State Government to confiscate the properties of the now-banned organisation.

Kerala had witnessed extensive violence during the PFI called 12-hour hartal in protest against the nationwide raid on its properties and arrests of its leaders by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

This is for the first time assets of a large number of people have been attached for engaging in destruction of public property. The court had taken suo moto action against the violence.

Earlier, the court had pulled up the government for dilly-dallying on the implementation of the court’s order and had asked additional chief secretary, home to appear personally before it along with a sworn affidavit detailing the time frame within which the recovery proceedings would be completed.

The government then tendered an unqualified apology for the lapse and promised the court that the order would be complied within the stipulated deadline. When the government defended the delay for procedural issues in serving notice to the affected parties, the court said there was no need to issue any notice.

The attached properties belong to PFI leaders in the districts of Wayanad, Kasaragod, Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur. The maximum number of 126 cases are in Malappuram, a Muslim-dominated district.

The confiscation process involved state-wide inspection of the properties of those who were found to have indulged in violence with the help of revenue officials as well as police.

Incidentally, there have been complaints that the properties of wrong persons were confiscated, particularly in Malappuram. The government has given an assurance that such cases be would examined and corrective action taken where necessary.

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