'This Has To Stop- Forever. Period!'- Kerala HC Directs Chief Secretary To Oversee Recovery Of Loss To KSRTC In PFI Hartal
"It is another 'Hartal' today! Called by an entity without notice", notes the Kerala High Court at the beginning of its order regarding the damage caused to the Kerala State Transport Corporation (KSRTC) due to violence on Friday's hartal in the state called by the Popular Front of India (PFI).
The Bench of Justice Devan Ramachandran has directed the Chief Secretary to the Government of Kerala and the Secretary, Home Department to overview the action taken for recovering the loss caused to the KSRTC and report to the Court. The Court has posted the case to October, 17.
The order was passed in a batch of pending cases relating to the KSRTC.
The Standing Counsel for the KSRTC informed the Court that 70 buses have been destroyed across the State and that it has suffered loss of nearly Rs.50 lakhs.
However, the Court refused to accept the figure. "The loss to the KSRTC is not merely Rupees 45 to 50 lakhs as stated by them, but much more because, several schedules and trips will be lost until the vehicles are repaired", the Court noted.
The Court noted that hard working and sincere employees, who were brave to disregard attacks, have been seriously injured. "The graphic pictures of drivers driving with helmets is very poignant", the Court added.
"This is not sufficient", the Court said to the submission of the Additional Advocate General, Ashok M.Cherian that efforts are on to nab the culprits.
"This has to stop - forever. Period!", the Court said, adding, "It can happen only if the entity which called the 'Hartal' and the culprits are dealt with vehemently by law".
The Bench said that the Government have to be alive to this and must initiate strict action forthwith. The Court directed the state to inform the Court by the next posting date as to how they will recover the loss to the KSRTC from the culprits, as also the entity and its office bearers who called the Hartal. "The loss is not merely the repair charges of the vehicles, but the loss of revenue when the trips and schedules are incapacitated; as also the medical expenses of the employees", the Court said.
"The action to be initiated ought to be swift, decisive, deterrent and adequate, so that another will shudder before a stone is thrown on the KSRTC again", the Court added.