The State government on Thursday informed the Karnataka High Court that it has decided to withdraw its [government's] decision announced in the State Budget that hoisting Kannada flag in all government offices, schools and colleges on November 1 every year will be made compulsory.

“The government accepts that no other flag other than the national flag can be hoisted and saluted by the State during official functions and the decision announced in the Budget with the approval of Cabinet would be withdrawn,” the government counsel submitted to a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B.V. Nagarathna.

These submissions were made during the hearing on a Public Interest Litigation complaining that the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, a pro-Kannada organisation, and its president T.A. Narayanagowda are “misusing” the “Kannada flag” for their private gains.

Panel on malnutrition

In another case, the Bench constituted a committee headed by Justice N.K. Patil, a judge of the High Court and chairman of the High Court's Legal Services Committee to monitor the issues connected with malnutrition in children in the State.

The Bench said that the committee can invite experts as and when the necessity is felt while asking it hold first meeting within a fortnight and submit an action taken report in the second week of June. The committee has been set up as the court noticed the need for redressal of the issue of malnutrition in children expeditiously. The court has been monitoring the issue since October last year after treating a letter written by a NGO from Raichur about the death of children due to malnutrition, as a public interest litigation.

Afreen's death

Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen took note of the plight of the mother who lost her three-month-old daughter Afreen following alleged assault by child's father.

During the hearing on a PIL on child malnutrition, Chief Justice Sen termed the incident as “unfortunate” and observed that “now-a-days parents are also harming their children”. He enquired with Nina P. Nayak, chairperson of the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, and Vishwanath V. Angadi, Member-Secretary, Karnataka State Legal Services Authority, whether Afreen's mother required any help while emphasising that her rehabilitation is very important. “If women stand on their feet such a thing may not happen,” the Chief Justice said. While Ms. Nayak said the women's panel has taken up the matter, Mr. Angadi said that a legislator has given Rs. 5 lakh as compensation to Afreen's mother.

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