Govt orders state flag, tricolor must be hoisted together

Srinagar: The state government asked all constitutional authorities on Thursday to maintain the sanctity of the state flag “at all costs” by hoisting it along with the tricolor.
The order issued by the general administration department comes 12 days after PDP entered into an alliance with the BJP, which advocates the two-flag system in the state shall be abolished.
“As per the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir and the Delhi Agreement of 1952 and keeping in view the historical background, the state flag has the same sanctity and position as the Union flag has under the Indian Constitution and other statutory provisions,” the GAD order reads.
The order said that under Jammu and Kashmir Prevention of Insult to State Honors Act 1979, it amounts to an insult if the state flag is not hoisted alongside the Union flag.
“The flag shall always be hoisted jointly on the buildings housing constitutional institutions and shall be used on official cars of constitutional authorities,” it said.
A petition filed by former forest officer Abdul Qayoom Khan, which is pending before the high court, has requested the court to direct constitutional authorities to abide by rules regarding hoisting of state flag.
Khan has contended that by not hoisting or unfurling the state flag, constitutional authorities such as the governor, high court judges and ministers breach the law besides “hurting his feelings”.
As per Article 144 of the constitution, the state flag should be rectangular in shape and red in colour with three equidistant vertical stripes of equal width next to the staff and a white plough in the middle with handle facing the strips.
Khan has claimed that the state flag is neither hoisted on the buildings including the high court nor on official vehicles used by the constitutional authorities.
He has also sought court’s directions for declaring November 17 as Republic Day in the state, contending it was the day when people of the state adopted and enacted the constitution.
The National Conference government did not file the reply to Khan’s petition and left it for the new dispensation headed by PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to respond.