Thursday, January 6, 2022

Register cases against officials misusing national, state emblems: Madras High Court

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The order was passed by Justice SM Subramaniam, who held that no person shall use official emblems for personal reasons unless permitted by the Central government.

"In the absence of any authorisation under the provisions of the Act and Rules, the usage must be prevented as there is a specific prohibition under the Act. Therefore, no former functionaries, like former Members of Parliament, former Members of Legislative Assembly, retired officials of Commissions or Committees, Public Sector Undertakings, Banks, Panchayati Raj Institutions, Parishads, Non-Government Organisations, Universities are authorised to use the Symbols, Emblems, Stickers, Flag, Names of the Institution or Government Names, etc., in their vehicles or in their letter pads or in the buildings," the Court stated.

therefore, passed the following directions while disposing of the plea:

(i) The 5th respondent/the Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu is directed to issue wide publications through Visual Media and Press Media, providing an opportunity to all concerned to remove all kind of unauthorised usage of Flags, Emblems, Names, Symbols, Stickers, Seals, etc., within a period of one month, from the date of such publication.

(ii) The 5th respondent is directed to register cases under the provisions of the Act, on expiry of the said period of one month and prosecute the offenders by following the procedures as contemplated under law.

(iii) The respondents 3 to 5 are directed to sensitise the competent authorities/Police officials for the purpose of securing information regarding misuse of Flags, Emblems, Stickers, Names, etc., and in the event of any violation on the part of the law enforcing officials, strict actions are to be taken against such officials, for dereliction of duty.

(iv) The 5th respondent is directed to instruct the Subordinate Police officials across the State of Tamil Nadu to register cases under the provisions of the Act and Rules, in the event of receiving information from any person and by verifying/investigating the genuinity of the information and complaints.

(v) The 5th respondent/the Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu is directed to issue appropriate circular/instructions for implementation of Act and Rules, to all the Subordinates/Police officials, within a period of two weeks from the date of uploading of this order copy in the official website of the High Court. The instructions to be issued shall contain the procedures to be followed for registration of cases by the competent authorities, in consonance with the Act and Rules.

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