Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the state government to ensure that the sanctity of the state flag is maintained and preserved in letter and spirit and come out with a “clear stand” on hoisting it on official buildings and official cars.
“Respondents (are directed) to ensure that the sanctity of the state flag is maintained and the provisions of the J&K Prevention of Insult to the State Honour Act 1979 (are) acted upon in letter and spirit,” Justice Hasnain Masoodi said in an interim order yesterday.
The High Court was hearing a petition which had sought directions to all constitutional authorities to hoist state flag on all state government’s buildings and vehicles.
The court also directed the government to come up with a clear stand on withdrawal of a circular that enjoined upon state’s constitutional authorities to hoist the state flag on buildings and official cars.
“Let respondents come out with a clear and definite stand by the next hearing,” Justice Masoodi said.
The petitioner Abdul Qayoom Khan had stated that the state government, through a circular dated March 12 this year, directed authorities to maintain sanctity of the state flag at all costs but the circular was withdrawn by the government a day later.
The petitioner pleaded that the withdrawal of the circular amounts to violation of Prevention of Insult to State Honours Act and is “therefore punishable under law”.
On March 19 last year, High Court had sought government’s response on a Public Interest Litigation by Khan seeking directions to all constitutional authorities of Jammu and Kashmir to celebrate November 17 as Republic Day of the State.
Jammu and Kashmir had adopted its separate Constitution on November 17, 1956.