Court allows flag hoisting in Hubli

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Monday cleared the way for hoisting the national flag at the contentious Idgah Maidan in Hubli when it dismissed two petitions on the issue. While the Principal Bench of the High Court at Bangalore dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) petition on the flag issue, the Circuit Bench at Dharwad dismissed a writ by Anjuman-E-Islam.

However, the Karnataka Government made it clear that Muslims were free to offer prayers and other related activities at the maidan on Ramzan and Id-E-Milad in Hubli.

The State made this submission at the Principal Bench when a Division Bench comprising Justice V. Gopala Gowda and Justice A.S. Bopanna was hearing a PIL petition on hoisting of the flag at the maidan on Republic Day.

Appearing for the State, Advocate-General Ashok Haranahalli said the State would not come in the way of Muslims offering prayers and holding religious activities at the maidan on Ramzan and Id.

He, however, said the Anjuman and one section of community could not claim sole right to hoist the national flag at the maidan on Republic Day. He said public interest would demand that all sections of society joined hands to hoist the flag.

He made the submission when the Bench was hearing a PIL petition by Khaja Sab Hasan Sab Gudebaddi and seven others. The petitioners had sought a direction from the court to the authorities to allow the Anjuman-E-Islam organisation to hoist the flag at the maidan on January 26. They apprehended that there could be law and order problem if the Anjuman was denied permission to hoist the flag.

Opposing the petitioners, the AG said the Supreme Court had a few days ago ruled that the Idgah Maidan belonged to the HDMC.

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