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Flash Hartal: Kerala High Court initiates suo motu contempt of court case against PFI

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The Kerala High Court has initiated a suo motu contempt of court case against the Popular Front of India (PFI) for doing flash hartal, which was strictly banned by the Court and notified as well.

A division bench of Justices AK Jayasankaran Nambiar and Justice Mohammed Nias CP  have been very critical of the way and have pulled up the organisation, which has been embattled for its activities across the nation,and now added for violating the Court orders and creating an non condusive atmosphere.

The Court said that the action of the aforementioned people in calling for the hartal without following the procedure contemplated in the earlier Court order, prima facie, amounts to contempt of the directions of this Court .

The Court also took a note of the fact that media reports about the flash hartal merely mentioned call for a flash hartal, without mentioning the details of the interim order which was passed by the Court banning such hartals.

The Court instructed the media to always mention the Court’s order banning such hartals whenever any such hartal is called for.

The Court mentioned that we deem it necessary to tell the media once again to ensure that whenever such illegal flash hartals are called for, and it is apparent that the said hartal called is in violation of the orders passed by this Court, the public be duly informed of the said fact.

The Court said, this in our view, would suffice to a large extent, in allaying the apprehensions of the general public as regards the legality of the call for hartal and also dissuade providers of public utility services from heeding to such calls for illegal hartals in future.

We issue the following directions in the wake of the situation that has now arisen, where an illegal call for hartal has been made by the aforesaid persons, to the prejudice and inconvenience of the general public.

Apart from this, the Court has also directed that the State police to ensure there is no damage to property of persons or establishments which do not support the hartal. Any damages so caused must be reported to the Court, it ordered.

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