The Madhya Pradesh High Court has declined to issue directions for hoisting of a National Flag – Tricolor all the days on the public buildings mandatorily.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Sujoy Paul said “there is no mandate in the Flag Code that the National Flag should be hoisted on all days and on the public buildings such are specified in Clause 3.39 of Section VIII of the Flag Code of India, 2002”.
The court disposed of a PIL seeking direction for mandatory hoisting of the national flag on all important public buildings such as High Courts, Secretariats, Commissioner’s, Jails and offices of the distirct boards, Municipalities and Zila Parishads and Department / Public Sector Undertakings.
The petitioner took the ground of provisions of Clause 3.3 of Section II and Clause 3.39 of Section VIII of the Flag Code of India, 2002 to press his relief.
The provision in Clause 3.3 of Section II is mandated “in respect of the conditions in which the National Flag can be hoisted”, the court said.
Elucidating the word “Normally” with which the Clause 3.39 starts the court said the use of expression “Normally” means that it is not used in a mandatory form, but, it is directory”.
“since there is no mandate that the public buildings should hoist National Flag, therefore, there cannot be any direction to the respondents to hoist the National Flag on the public buildings as mentioned in Clause 3.39 of Section VIII of the Flag Code of India 2002”, Court added.
The Flag Code is the guidelines issued by the Central Government and has the force of law for purpose of violation of the guidelines and “not to mandate that the National Flag should be hoisted on the public buildings in the mandatory manner”, the court observed.
The bench said “we do not find that any direction can be issued for hoisting of flag on public buildings mandatorily”.
Read the Order here.