Kochi: The Kerala High Court asked why flagpoles or masts belonging to political parties being displayed in public places is allowed. The Bench pointed out that it is a violation of Land Conservancy laws.
The court was addressing a plea by a cooperative society alleging that a political party was illegally putting up flags and banners on its land. The petition alleges that party members damaged some portion of their land with an earthmover machine after the notice issued by the court was communicated to the local leadership.
The petitioner urged the court to provide police protection to restore the damaged site. The court declined the request and said that it first wanted to address the issue of flagpoles being installed without permission.
Justice Devan Ramachandran noted that flagpoles "of all hue and colour" are being put up at junctions, public roads, auto stands, etc without permission. "Wherever we turn, we see several such flags." He added that if anyone touches or removes these flags, a major fight breaks out over it. "The situation often escalates to a point where communal harmony is disrupted."
The court observed that if an ordinary man puts up a flagpost, action will be taken against him according to Land Conservancy Act. But if he has a party, he can get away with it. "What is all this happening? Where are we going like this? Everyone is turning a blind eye to all this. No one dares to question it," asked Kerala High Court.
Kerala High Court stated that the Local Self Government Department should be a party in the matter and issued a notice seeking its stand. The next hearing is listed on November 1. The court clarified that its judgement should not be confined just to this case but taken into account across the state.