Kerala High Court: Devan Ramachandran, J. directed State to ensure that no new flag masts and posts be permitted to be brought on to the roads and public spaces of the State without first obtaining permissions from the competent Authority.
“This is an extremely unfortunate situation and it prevents a complete breakdown of law, because 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 Institution or such other competent Authority.”
The facts of the case were that the petitioner alleged that certain political parties had put up a flag mast within their property illegally while it was contended by the respondent that t flag mast was not in the property of the petitioner, but on a road ‘purambokku’.
Calling it an issue of a larger dimension, the Bench had registered a suo motu case and had asked the respondent as to how any entity was allowed to put up flag mast on public roads or road ‘purambokku’ without permission, as it would, prima facie, be a violation of the Kerala Land Conservancy Act.
Considering the gravity of the issue, the Bench expressed concern that political and other similar flag masts are being installed across the length and breadth of the State, without any respite and the culture of putting up flag masts wherever, by influential political parties or such other association of people had permiated into the society very deeply. The Bench said,
“Not merely are flag posts erected, the persons who do so thereafter seem to think that they are in occupation and possession of the land on which it is, and boards and such other installations are also then made next to it or along with it; and this is demonstrably clear in almost every nook and corner of the State.”
Hence, the Bench asked the Authority concerned to file an affidavit dealing with the available legal provisions in this regard. The State was directed to ensure that no new flag masts and posts be permitted to be brought on to the roads and public spaces of the State without first obtaining permissions from the competent Authorities; and that the requisite steps for this purpose are observed strictly.
Additionally, the state was directed to cause an audit and survey of the various illegal flag masts across the length and breadth of the State and make the information with respect available to the Court.[Mannam Sugar Mills Co-Operative Ltd. v. Superintendent of Police, WP(C) No. 1671 of 2021, decided on 01-11-2021]
Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.
For the Petitioner: M/S R.T.Pradeep, Sri.V.Vijulal, Smt.M.Bindudas, Sri.K.C.Harish
For the State of Kerala: Sri.E.C.Bineesh, Government Pleader