The Andhra Pradesh HC on May 22, cancelled Government Order (G.O) 623 issued in April by the state government. The court said that govt. buildings should not have paints of colours which represent political parties.
The Govt. order was for a change in its earlier order for the painting of govt offices, panchayat offices. The G.O 623 added extra colour brown.
The court had given an interim order on December 13, 2019, about the same. It asked the govt not to paint their buildings with the colours of the flag of a particular political party. Thereafter, the new GO, which adds one more colour, modifies the previous one. Suryadevara Venkata Rao filed a writ petition in the High Court. He challenged the GO 623.
The Court stated that adding one more colour to the other three in question to replace, is not acceptable.
Chief Justice JK Maheswari and Justice N Jayasurya issued orders in the matter. It deemed non-compliance of its earlier order as contempt of court.
“In case, the court orders are not followed and the colours not replaced by the next hearing on May 28, the three officers — Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary (Panchayat Raj) and Panchayat Raj commissioner — have to appear before the court in person,” the bench ruled.
They argued that the four colours represent agriculture and allied sectors. The court disagreed with his arguments.
The Court kept in view that any political party in power wants to have the offices painted in its party colours. But this practice is not acceptable. Cancelling the G.O 623, it ordered the Govt. officials to remove party colours from government buildings.
Earlier, the court asked to replace the colour combination which is like the flag of the ruling party. But the Govt. modified its order adding one more colour instead of replacing the three colours. It additionally observed that parties disregarded SC and HC orders. The court views this as contempt of court.
Next hearing is in the schedule for 28 May. The officials are to replace the colours by the next hearing. Or else the three above-named officers will have to appear in the court in person.
Moreover, the petitioner is entitled to Rs. 10,000 as court expenses.
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