Andhra Pradesh

Supreme Court rejects A.P.’s appeal on painting government property

A view of the ward secretariat in Vijayawada.

A view of the ward secretariat in Vijayawada.  

Asks State to remove existing colours

The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected an appeal filed by the Andhra Pradesh government against a State High Court decision to scrub off shades akin to ruling YSR Congress party colours from gram panchayat buildings.

“We direct the respondents [State authorities] to remove the existing colours on the gram panchayat buildings in compliance of the directions issued by the High Court within a period of four weeks from today,” a Bench led by Justice L. Nageswara Rao ordered.

On March 10, the High Court had concluded that painting public buildings in ruling party and flag colours amounted to “influencing the minds of the citizens towards its ideology.” The High Court had called it an “evil practice” using public money. It had directed the State to remove the paint within 10 days.

“There is no ambiguity in the direction issued by the High Court that any colour which is similar to the flag of any political party should not be used for painting gram panchayat buildings... ,” the Supreme Court held while dismissing the State’s appeal.

It said any attempt to disobey court orders would be subversive of the rule of law. Public confidence in the judiciary would be eroded if its orders were not obeyed.

The High Court had also initiated suo motu contempt proceedings against the State government for not complying with its earlier order in March to remove its party and flag colour themes from panchayat and government buildings. It however closed the contempt proceedings.

The High Court had passed the order on a PIL petition filed by Suryadevara Venkata Rao, represented by advocate Pramod Kumar.

The State had argued that the contempt action was premature. It had said that a committee was constituted in April “to look into the various colour themes for painting panchayat/government buildings and other properties belonging to the government, local bodies etc.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 9:46:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/supreme-court-rejects-aps-appeal-on-painting-government-property/article31742658.ece

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