Jammu: A division bench of Jammu and Kashmir High Court today stayed an earlier single bench order directing the state government to hoist the state flag on official buildings and vehicles of constitutional authorities.
On December 27, the High Court had directed the state government to hoist the state flag, along with the national flag. "It connects past with present and future. Flag while reminding us of struggle made by the people and their sacrifices also makes us aware of our aspirations," the December 27 judgment read.
A petition was moved by National Secretary of BJP Farooq Khan before a division bench of Justices Tashi Rabstan and Bansi Lal Bhat challenging the single bench order passed by Justice Hasnain Masoodi upholding a government circular which asked all constitutional authorities to hoist the state flag atop their official buildings and vehicles.
After hearing arguments, the division bench stayed the order of the single bench.
“After hearing the argument for a long time, the Division bench finally stayed the judgement of single bench,” Sunil Sethi, counsel for the petitioner, told reporters. A detailed order was awaited.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said his successor and PDP chief Mufti Mohammad Sayeed should step down if he cannot defend the state's dignity and flag from the “nefarious” plans of BJP.
“If Mufti Syed (Sayeed) can't defend the state's dignity & flag from the nefarious plans of his allies he should step down and find someone who can!” Omar wrote on Twitter.
Omar's comments came soon after a division bench of the JK High Court stayed implementing the order of a single bench which had called on Constitutional authorities in the state to hoist the state flag on official buildings and vehicles. The National Conference leader's comments sparked a debate on the social networking site with some questioning his patriotism.
Former Inspector General of Police and BJP leader Farooq Khan had filed an LPA before the High Court against the order of Justice Hasnain Masoodi passed on December 27. The High Court constituted a special Division Bench comprising Justices B L Bhat and Tashi Rabstan, who stayed the single bench order after hearing Khan's counsel Sunil Sethi.
Omar asked why Jammu and Kashmir was expected to respect the terms of accession while the rest of the country could disregard it.
“Why is only J&K expected to respect the terms of accession while the rest of the country can disregard them with impunity?” he asked.
Responding to the online criticism, Omar asserted that two flags will fly in the state as long as it continued to be part of India. “Here's what I'll say—so long as J&K is a part of India the two flags will continue to fly & we'll take pride in it," Omar said.
BJP, which is an ally of the PDP, has had a stand of ‘ek vidhan, ek nishan, ek pradhan' (One Constitution, One Flag, One leader).
(With PTI Inputs)