In an affidavit submitted to the Delhi High Court earlier this week, the Ministry of Home affairs stated that local police would be responsible for looking into incidents of improper display of the National Flag or National Symbols.
The affidavit also stated that the ministry had already sent the governments of the states and Union Territories multiple advisories regarding the correct depiction of the National Flag and National Symbols.
The affidavit was submitted in response to a PIL filed by social activist and filmmaker Ulhas P R. It states that action regarding misuse or improper depiction of the National Flag or National Symbols would be taken by the governments of states or Union Territories where the incident takes place.
Arguing before the court of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justice Manmohan, the petitioner submitted pictures and screen shots of government functions and websites where the National Flag or Lion Pillar Symbol had been misrepresented.
“Even the Delhi High Court stamp, which depicts the National Symbol, shows it incorrectly as the words ‘satyameva jjayate’ are not written under the symbol,” the petitioner said.
The petitioner also presented pictures taken at the Republic Day parade, wherein the National Flag depicted above the dais of the President did not have the correct number of spokes in the wheel.
During the arguments, the petitioner cited several instances of improper depiction/display of the National Flag and Emblem, including advertisements of Delhi and Gujarat governments, where “the National Flag has been shown without Ashoka Chakra and in an animated form...” He also spoke of the Prime Minister’s Facebook page, which “shows India’s National Flag differently on different occasions”. Replying to the petition, the MHA, however, however stated that departments and ministries had been sent advisories regarding the proper depiction of the Flag and Symbols.
“It is submitted that when a complaint regarding improper display or insult/disrespect to Indian National Flag and improper depiction/misuse of State Emblem is brought to notice of MHA, concerned state/UT where the said violation has taken place is asked to take necessary action as per the (relevant) Act and Rules. Any further action is required to be taken by the concerned state/UT,” the affidavit said.
The affidavit stated, “It is submitted that complaint, if any, regarding insult/ disrespect to the Indian National Flag by any individual/organisation may be made at the nearest police station. Police authorities... are charged with enforcement of law and order within their respective territorial jurisdiction