Bombay HC quashes case against Maha principal who ‘violated’ Flag Code
The principal had approached high court seeking annulment of the criminal proceedings against herUpdated: Mar 07, 2018 11:38 IST
The Bombay high court came to the rescue of a school headmistress and struck down her prosecution for allegedly insulting the national flag by failing to lower it after sunset on Republic Day.
“The facts of the case do not disclose commission of any offence,” said the division bench of Justice Prasanna Varale and Justice Vibha Kankanwadi while striking down the criminal case registered against Dr Varsha Salunkhe, principal of the First Expression School at Aurangabad.
The judges said mere non-observance of the Flag Code, which is not a law within the meaning of Article 13 (3) (a) of the Constitution of India, cannot be said to be covered under Section 2 of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act 1971, and therefore the prosecution cannot be allowed to continue.
A police officer from CIDCO police station had filed a case against Salunkhe for alleged contravention of Section 2 of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act 1971. The FIR was registered after she failed to lower the tricolour after sunset, as mandated by the Flag Code.
She had approached high court seeking annulment of the criminal proceedings on the ground that the Apex Court has held the Flag Code as a mere set of instructions issued by the Centre and unintentional breach of the code could not result in initiation of criminal proceedings.
Her lawyers urged the court to strike down the prosecution contending that she had not committed any offence known to law, as mere failure to lower down the national flag after sunset was no offence under any law. The high court accepted the contentions and struck down the criminal proceedings against Salunkhe.