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The Kerala High Court has initiated suo motu contempt proceedings against three leaders of the United Democratic Front (UDF) for calling a flash hartal in the State of Kerala.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice AK Jayasankaran Nambiar initiated the contempt proceedings against Advocate Dean Kuriakose of the Youth Congress and MC Kamarudeen and A Govindan Nair of the UDF for calling a hartal in the State without giving the mandatory seven-day public notice.
The “flash hartal” was called on February 17 and was scheduled for February 18 to protest against the killing of two Youth Congress workers in Kerala’s Kasargode district. The two were allegedly murdered by a group of Communist Party of India (Marxist) workers.
The Court noted today that the call for hartal in the State was brought to its notice through media reports and by Additional Advocate General Ranjith Thampan.
This call for a State-wide hartal goes against a previous order of the Kerala High Court which mandates a seven-day public notice ahead of a hartal. Hence, the Court noted that the call for hartal without adhering to the notice period is a “contumacious act.” The order reads,
“In as much as the call for hartal was made without giving seven days clear public notice, prima facie, we are convinced that a call for hartal made by the aforesaid three persons amounts to a contumacious act on their part.”
The Court, therefore, directed the Registry to register a suo motu Contempt of Court case against the three leaders. The Court has issued notice to the three Respondents and has called for their personal appearance before the Court on February 22.
Read the Order: