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'Points To A Complete Breakdown Of Law': Kerala High Court Cautions Against Installation Of Unauthorized Flag Posts In State

Hannah M Varghese
2 Nov 2021 8:00 AM GMT
Points To A Complete Breakdown Of Law: Kerala High Court Cautions Against Installation Of Unauthorized Flag Posts In State
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The Kerala High Court on Monday once again pulled up the government for inaction over illegal flag posts being installed throughout the State and directed that a survey be conducted to detect the number of illegal flag posts erected in the State without obtaining the requisite permission. Justice Devan Ramachandran expressed his shock at the 'lawlessness' continuing in the State...

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The Kerala High Court on Monday once again pulled up the government for inaction over illegal flag posts being installed throughout the State and directed that a survey be conducted to detect the number of illegal flag posts erected in the State without obtaining the requisite permission. 

Justice Devan Ramachandran expressed his shock at the 'lawlessness' continuing in the State despite several warnings issued by the Court in the matter:

"Even as we speak, political and other similar flag masts are being installed across the length and breadth of the State without respite. This culture of putting up flag masts wherever there is an influential political party or such other association of people have now permeated into the society so much that recently there were even instances of student violations with respect to this."

The Court thereby directed an audit to be conducted regarding the number of illegal flag posts erected across the State;

"Until 15th November, I'm certain that no new flag posts shall be brought on to roads and public spaces and steps shall be ensured by the respondents strictly. In the meanwhile, steps shall also be taken by competent authorities to cause an audit and survey of the various illegal flag masts across the length and breadth of the state and info regarding the same shall be made available to this court." 

On a lighter note, the bench commented that the number of such posts will be mind-boggling and that from the metal obtained from all the unauthorized flag posts in the State, perhaps ten whole factories could be built. 

The Court added,

"This is an extremely unfortunate situation and it points to a complete breakdown of law. There can be no doubt that any such installation can be made on any public space or road only after obtaining necessary permission from the local self-government institutions or such other competent authority." 

The Single Bench also observed that not only were flag posts being erected, but the persons who do so, thereafter seem to think that they are in occupation and possession of the land on which it is located, and boards and such other installations are also made next to it or along with it.

"This is demonstratively clear in almost every nook and corner of the State." 

The Court had given 18 days to the State to prepare its response on the last hearing day. However, upon Government Pleader S. Kannan seeking more time for the same, it acceded to its request. 

The Court accordingly directed the State to revert on the matter by 15th November. It further directed the State to conduct an audit and survey regarding the number of illegal flag posts erected in the State within this time. 

It was further pointed out that the legal issue involved here is one that would have ramifications across the State. The State has been directed to submit a comprehensive report within two weeks.

Unauthorised Flag Posts In Public Spaces Erected By Political Bodies: Kerala High Court Seeks State Response

The Court issued the order on a petition filed by a property owner who approached the Court through Advocate R.T Pradeep seeking police protection to remove flag posts that were allegedly put upon his property by political parties.

Case Title: Mannam Sugar Mills Cooperative Ltd v. Deputy Superintendant of Police

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