Special Correspondent

Court had told them to hoist national flag everyday and do community service

CHENNAI: Three persons, who were granted bail by the Madras High Court on the condition that they hoist the national flag everyday and do community service for a week, have sought modification of the conditions.

P.Thamizharasan (30), V.Bharathi (28) and B.Sankara Vadivelu (26) were among eight persons arrested for allegedly trying to burn the tricolour opposite the Coimbatore Collectorate on April 25 in protest against the killing of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

The High Court ordered them to erect a pole in front of their houses and hoist the national flag with due respect everyday and do community service at an orphanage for three hours daily for a week.

In his petition, filed by counsel S. Doraisamy and V. Elangovan, petitioner P. Thamizharasan said that he was charged with certain offences and the case was under investigation. The justification for imposing conditions for bail was to help the investigation and not punish the accused before they were found guilty.

It was beyond his comprehension as to how the hoisting of the flag would help the investigation. The other condition was also irrelevant to the case.

The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act provided for punishing acts of contempt such as burning, mutilating, defacing, defiling etc. There was nothing in it that provided for punishing a person for an alleged intention to commit such acts.

The petitioner said: “Disrespect is an offence under the Act. Non-respect is not an offence. Prevailing circumstances of the Tamils in Sri Lanka compel me not to show respect to the Indian National Flag. Hence I will not carry out the conditions imposed by this Hon’ble Court. I do not want to disobey the order of this Hon’ble Court after coming out on bail.”