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SC Dismisses Andhra Pradesh Govt's Challenge Against HC Direction To Remove Party Flag Colours From Govt Buildings

Sanya Talwar
3 Jun 2020 11:49 AM GMT
SC Dismisses Andhra Pradesh Govts Challenge Against HC Direction To Remove Party Flag Colours From Govt Buildings
The Bench also asked the State Government to remove party colours from panchayat buildings within four weeks, failing which it shall be considered as contempt of court.
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The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed an appeal by the Andhra Pradesh Government challenging a High Court order, directing removal of flags of political parties including those of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy's-led ruling party (Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party YSCRP) from government buildings.

A bench comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao, Krishan Murari & S Ravindra Bhat rejected the plea stating that the party colours be removed from buildings within four weeks, failing which contempt proceedings would be initiated against the State Government

Advocate G N Reddy appeared for the State Government and submitted that the High Court order was against using flags' colours of political parties on government buildings including 'panchayat bhawans'. 

Reddy had stated that the the colours painted on the government buildings did not resemble that of the YSRCP flag, but conveyed a different meaning.

On March 10, The Andhra Pradesh High Court had directed the state government to remove the blue, green and white colours associated with the ruling YSRCP, from the walls of panchayat offices and other government buildings.

The court had given 10 days' time for the government to change the colours, and directed the Chief Secretary to submit a report on the implementation of the court's directions. 

The court was hearing a batch of petitions, the main matter which was Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a man named Muppa Venkateswara Rao, who had earlier approached the court objecting to the painting of the panchayat office in his village with the colours of the YSRCP party flag. 

Subsequently, the Court had sought an explanation from the Panchayat Raj Secretary and Chief Secretary, asking the registrar of the High Court to initiate contempt proceedings against the government by May 28 on account of the Government's failure to comply with directions for removal.

In March 2019, the YS Jaganmohan Reddy-led Andhra Pradesh government had decided to paint all panchayat buildings in party colours.

In an order issued by Panchayat Raj commissioner, the district collectors had been directed to paint all the Panchayat buildings in green, blue and white.

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