Hoisting of tricolour after sunset is no offence or insult: HC

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - 00:36

Bilaspur: Keeping the national flag hoisted
after the sunset is not an offence and such an act does not
amount to insult to the tricolour, the Chhattisgarh High Court
has held.

The court said a private individual cannot be prosecuted
only on the allegation that the flag was not lowered after the
sunset and any action can be taken after it is proved that
there was disrespect shown to it in any other form.

The ruling was passed on a petition filed by two
employees of Raigarh-based Jindal Power Ltd (JPL) seeking
quashing of the FIR filed against them under Prevention of
Insults to National Honour Act for allegedly insulting the
national flag by keeping it hoisted even after sunset.
The HC said keeping hoisted the flag after the sunset
also was not in violation of the provisions under the
Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act.

Deciding the case in favour of JPL, Justice Dhirendra
Mishra said "keeping in view that the only allegation against
the petitioners is that they did not lower the national flag,
which was hoisted in their premisese at flag post, and the
penal provisions contained in the Act, I am of the opinion
that no commission of offence is disclosed from the
allegations present in the FIR".

The High Court said the Chief Judicial Magistrate,
Raigarh, was not justified in not accepting the final report
of the police probe pointing out that no offence was made out.

The national flag was kept hoisted at the JPL Tanmar at
Raigarh in Chattisgarh, after which an FIR was registered
against the company`s management in 2008 alleging insult to
the tricolour.

Navin Jindal, Executive Vice-Chairman of the company and
Lok Sabha MP, said the verdict by the High Court is very
timely and has come ahead of the Independence Day which will
help the citizens to fly the flag without any fear.

"I am very happy. It is a landmark judgement because
it will take the fear out of people`s mind about the
national flag not being lowered at night. It will not amount
to any kind of disrespect to the tricolour and no punitive
action can be taken," he told PTI while reacting to the High
Court verdict.

On a petition filed by Jindal, the Supreme Court had on
January 23, 2004, had said that displaying the national flag
was a fundamental right of all citizens.

-PTI



First Published: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - 00:36

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