The Kerala High Court on Tuesday observed that destruction of public property by strikers and agitators should be viewed seriously.

Justice K.T. Sankaran made the observation while granting bail to five students who had ransacked the Vocational Higher Secondary School, Chathamangalam in Kozhikode during a strike.

The court observed that public property was being destroyed very often during strikes by political parties. Every citizen had a right over such property. It could not be destroyed. The court could not remain a mute spectator when public property was being destroyed.

The court also asked the students to deposit Rs.50,000 each as value for the property destroyed. If they were finally absolved of the charges, it should be refunded. The court ordered that they be released on bail on their executing a bond for Rs.25,000 in the Kunnamangalam Judicial First Class Magistrate Court.

No fund diversion

In a detailed affidavit filed before a Division Bench, the State government said that funds allotted by the Central government for tsunami rehabilitation schemes had not been diverted for any other purpose.

The affidavit was filed by the State government through Special Government Pleader Susheela Bhatt in response to a writ petition alleging misappropriation of the funds. According to the affidavit, the amount had already been spent for the rehabilitation schemes under the supervision of a high-level committee in nine districts affected by the tsunami. The affidavit denied the charge that there had been misappropriation of funds.

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