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High Court bans ‘flash’ hartals, makes seven-day notice mandatory

The Kerala High Court today passed an order banning ‘flash’ hartals, making it mandatory for any organisation to issue a notice for the invoking of a shutdown at least seven days in advance. The court also expressed strong disapproval at the practice of calling hartals at the drop of a hat.

The court was considering a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The petition stated that last year, 97 hartals were held in Kerala, which had a severe impact on business and livelihood of workers, causing loss worth crores. The petition also sought police protection for shops and commercial establishments during hartals.

All prominent political parties of the State—CPI(M), Congress, CPI, BJP, IUML and Kerala Congress(M)—were made respondents in the petition in High Court.

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