The Jammu and Kashmir High Court in its latest ruling has stayed an order to hoist the state flag along with the National Flag. It is in contrary to the last week’s ruling by a Single Bench of J&K, which asked the PDP-BJP government to respect the state flag and to hoist it on state offices and official vehicles. The latest verdict by the Division Bench of Justices Bansilal Bhat and Tashi Rabstan is expected to raise much political ripples across the state.
The stay on the Single Bench order came with the observation that, it lacks statutory flavour as J&K Prevention of Insult to State Honours Act, 1979 is a penal statute and its provisions cannot be enforced through executive orders like a circular. The stay was given onan appeal filed by former top counter insurgent police officer and present BJP leader, Farooq Khan.
Mr. Khan in his appeal had said that he has always fought against separatist and terrorist forces while in police and are continuing the same politically. He criticized the single bench judgment as a move to create a nation within a nation, and something which is against laws and facts.
Advocate Sunil Sethi, a State BJP leader and lawyer of the petitioner, submitted that single bench has lost sight of Article 1 of the Constitution of India which is fully applicable to Jammu and Kashmir undisputedly under Article 370 as well which declares J&K to be integral part of the country and the State of the Union. He said the judgment impugned has overlooked the provisions of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir particularly Section 3.