J&K Govt to hoist state flag on buildings of constitutional authorities

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has restored the State Government’s circular issued in March that enjoins upon all constitutional authorities to hoist state flags on buildings housing their offices and their official vehicles.

The circular issued by the General Administration Department was withdrawn a day after it was issued on March 12, after the present PDP-BJP dispensation took reigns.

The order was passed by a Bench of Justice Hasnain Masoodi, while allowing a writ petition by a retired forest officer Abdul Qayoom Khan.

The court directed the respondents and all Constitutional Authorities to adhere to and abide by mandate and spirit of Section 144 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, and the J&K Prevention of Insult to State Honour Act 1979 and Circular No.13-GAD of 2015 dated 12th March 2015.

The high court also observed that the conversion of the post of Sadr-e Riyasat into Governor in 1965 was against the State Constitution, but left it to the State Legislature to decide whether to continue with the existing constitutional arrangement or revert it.

Justice Masoodi said, in an order passed last week, that in terms of the amendment, the Governor is appointed by the President and is to be head of the state. The office of head of the state in the wake of amendment ceases to be elective.

The court held that the sixth amendment did not merely change the nomenclature, but the eligibility, mode and method of appointment of head of the state.

However, the court said the legislature was equally under a constitutional obligation to uphold the the Constitution and rectify an error, wherever necessary.

The court, however, left it to the state government to decide whether November 17 could be observed as Republic Day of the state. (ANI)