SC asks Jagan govt to remove party colours from panchayat buildings within four weeks
An SC division bench, headed by Justice Lavu Nageshwar Rao, dismissed a special leave petition (SLP) filed by the state government challenging an earlier order given by the Andhra Pradesh high court (HC) in this regard.Updated: Jun 03, 2020 18:24 IST
The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday ordered the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government in Andhra Pradesh (AP) to remove the colours painted on the gram panchayat buildings across the state within four weeks because they resemble that of the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) flag.
An SC division bench, headed by Justice Lavu Nageshwar Rao, dismissed a special leave petition (SLP) filed by the state government challenging an earlier order given by the Andhra Pradesh high court (HC) in this regard.
The apex court directed that the party colours painted on the government buildings be removed within four weeks and warned that if the government did not comply with the order, it would be treated as contempt of court.
The SC rejected the state government’s arguments that the colours painted on the government buildings did not resemble that of the YSRCP flag, but conveyed a different meaning.
Earlier, the state government had issued an order in August 2019, around two months after coming to power to paint gram panchayat buildings in a specific green, blue and yellow colour scheme, which bears a striking resemblance to the YSRCP flag.
It had also ordered the authorities to insert CM Reddy’s photograph on every panchayat building’s signboard, occupying at least 25% of the assigned space. The gram panchayats were told to incur the expenses for the new painting exercise.
The HC had directed the state government to remove the YSRCP colours from the gram panchayat buildings while responding to a public interest litigation petition (PIL).
The state government did not follow the HC order but issued a revised order, which tweaked the color scheme by adding another colour, terracotta, to give the impression that there was no similarity to the YSRCP flag.
In May, the HC took exception of the state government’s unilateral action and struck down the revised order.
On May 28, the court summoned AP chief secretary Nilam Sawhney and two other Indian Administration Service (IAS) officers and threatened to issue contempt proceedings if they did not follow its order on the removal of YSRCP colours from the government buildings.
However, the government chose to file a fresh SLP in the SC that upheld the earlier HC order on Wednesday.