Circular to register FIR on complaints against "nokkukooli" sent to police stations, HC told

  • | Wednesday | 8th December, 2021

Kochi, Dec 8 (PTI): Police on Wednesday told the Kerala High Court that a circular has been issued to all police stations to register a case whenever a genuine complaint regarding demand for "nokkukooli" or gawking wages is lodged. The circular was issued by the State police chief on November 26 to all the district police chiefs instructing them to "register FIRs as and when a genuine petition is received regarding the demand for "nokkukooli" and conduct an investigation into the case, with utmost care and vigilance." The submission was made before Justice Devan Ramachandran in response to his direction on November 23 to issue a circular to all the police stations under him to register a case of extortion against those demanding gawking wages. Advocate E C Bineesh, representing the police, told the court that nokkukooli has been controlled to some extent in the State. Taking note of the submissions by the police, Justice Ramachandran said he was considering disposing of the matter and listed it for hearing on December 10. The court was hearing a plea by a hotel owner, represented by advocate Manoj Ramaswamy, seeking police protection to carry out his business without intervention from some persons who were allegedly demanding gawking wages. The court had on the last date of hearing said the demand for gawking wages in the State has given a bad name to Kerala and it was being identified with nokkukooli. "This has led to Kerala being associated with militant trade unionism," the court had said. The State government had earlier told the court that an amendment was going to be brought into the Headload Workers Act for expelling and imposing a heavy penalty on any registered worker who demands gawking wages. The Kerala government on November 1 had told the court that a "No Nokkukooli 2021" campaign has been started by it and that it was strictly against the demand of gawking wages and would not be protecting anyone who indulges in this activity. On May 1, 2018, the government banned the practice of demanding gawking wages. PTI HMP NVG NVG

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