Kerala High Court directive disallows erection of flagpoles in public space without proper permission

Justice Devan Ramachandran, while dealing with a case against putting up flag masts on the Mannam Sugar Mill premises in Pandalam, said that the culture of putting up flag mast by influential political parties and other associations had permeated the society deeply

Observing that allowing to put up illegal flagpoles by political parties or such other associations presented a complete breakdown of the law, the Kerala High Court on Monday ordered the State Government and other authorities not to permit installation of new flagpoles or posts on public places and roads without obtaining permission from the competent authorities.

Justice Devan Ramachandran, while dealing with a case against putting up flag masts on the Mannam Sugar Mill premises in Pandalam, said that the culture of putting up flag mast by influential political parties and other associations had permeated the society deeply. Political and other similar flag masts were being installed across the length and breadth of the State without any respite.

The court said that there could not be any doubt that any such installation could be set up at public space or road only after obtaining necessary permission from the local self-government institution or such other competent authority.

The court observed that not merely were flagposts erected, the persons who did it thereafter seemed to think that they were in occupation and possession of the land on which it was put up and such other installations made next to it. This was “demonstrably clear” in almost every nook and corner of the State.

Audit urged

The court also directed the State Government to conduct an audit and survey of various illegally erected flagpoles across the State and furnish the court information regarding the survey.

The court also directed the Government to get an affidavit filed by a competent authority dealing with the legal provisions against the illegal erection of flagpoles.

The court posted the case for further hearing on November 15.

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