Petition in HC: ‘Celebrate J&K Republic Day’

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Court intervention sought on non use, non-hoisting of State flag

SRINAGAR: Concerned over the non-use and non-hoisting of State flag and its unfurling on November 17 and January 26 every year, Abdul Qayoom Khan former chief conservator of forests Kashmir has filed a petition before the High Court seeking directions to constitutional authorities to use the state flag in all their official cars, offices and office  buildings.

Khan has also sought High Court direction to all the constitutional authorities to celebrate Republic Day of the State of Jammu and Kashmir when it adopted the State Constitution with dignity and honor demonstrating the sanctity of the State flag.

Pertinently, on 17 November 1956, the Constituent Assembly adopted a resolution moved by Mir Qasim that it shall stand dissolved from 26 January 1957. The President of the Constituent Assembly formally declared its dissolution pursuant to the resolution of 17 November.

In his petition filed through noted lawyer, Zaffar Shah, the former senior forest officer has said that having regard to the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Prevention of Insult to State Honours Act, 1979, non-use of the State flag by the constitutional authorities amounts to contempt of the Flag of the State.

“…Contrary to the Constitution under which Constitutional Authorities have been created and function these authorities only use Indian National Flag and no other Flag. This has the effect of showing contempt to the Constitution of the State,” reads the petition.

The petitioner has further submitted that such a situation has to be prevented. “So long as a constitutional authority is created by the constitution of the State is under an obligation to use the State flag, the constitutional authority has no choice, but to use the State flag in order to demonstrate sanctity of the Flag and Republic character of Nation (State of Jammu and Kashmir).”

Referring to the Supreme Court observation with regard to National Flag used by the Union of India and similar views equally hold true for the flag of the State. “What Indian Flag means to the people of India, the State Flag means the same thing to the people of the State.”

The petitioner has further submitted that the High Court need to intervene in the matter and ensure that the State flag is used by all constitutional authorities in their official dealings, official cars, official buildings.

It his petition, Khan has further prayed that the way Union of India celebrates its  Republic Day when the National Flag is hoisted in the similar way the people of the State also need to celebrate Republic Day as per the Constitution and on the said day all the constitutional authorities are required to hoist State flag with full dignity and honour.

Non use and non-hoisting of state flag in Jammu and Kashmir has been attributed to political reasons by the petitioner. “The authority and sanctity of the Constitution of the State and State Flag is being undermined. The petitioner, therefore, seeks intervention of this Hon’ble Court on this important issue,” the petitioner has said. 

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