The Allahabad HC permitted the Gram Panchayats to hoist the National Flag during 11th to 17th August 2022 while celebrating “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”.
The bench of Justices Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Rajnish Kumar stated that the State Government should also be conscious of two Central Legislations, namely, The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 and The Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950.
In this case, the Government of India in the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued certain directions for organizing “Har Ghar Tiranga” programme during “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” and accordingly the Chief Secretary, State of U.P. has issued certain directions in this regard by means of Circular/Order dated 01.06.2022 giving instructions for hoisting the National Flag during “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”.
According to the same, from 11.08.2022 to 17.08.2022 every household is not only permitted but has been required to hoist the National Flag. The Circular dated 01.06.2022, will cover the Gram Panchayats also which shall be able to hoist National Flag from 11.08.2022 to 17.08.2022 on the Gram Panchayat Bhawans.
Counsel for the petitioner submitted that Village Panchayats are permitted to hoist the National Flag only on two days in a year, namely, ‘Independence Day i.e., 15th August and ‘Republic Day i.e. 26th January’.
Further, It was argued that after the insertion of Part IX in the Constitution of India, the Gram Panchayats have been given constitutional status and as such the Gram Panchayat Bhawan is also a public office for the purposes of the Flag Code and thus the State Government should issue appropriate Circular/Guidelines permitting the Gram Panchayats to hoist the National Flag every day on the Gram Panchayat Bhawans.
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The bench directed the State Counsel to seek complete instructions from the Department of Culture as well as from the Department of Panchayati Raj by the next date of listing.
However in the meantime the High Court permitted the Gram Panchayats to hoist the National Flag during 11th to 17th August 2022 while celebrating “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” in terms of the instructions and guidelines issued by the Chief Secretary, Government of U.P. which are embodied in the Circular/ Order dated 01.06.2022.
High Court listed the matter on 22.08.2022.
Case Title: Chandra Bhushan Pandey v. the State Of U.P.
Bench: Justices Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Rajnish Kumar
Citation: PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION (PIL) No. – 437 of 2022