The Supreme Court Friday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation which alleged that the design of lion sculpture atop the under-construction Parliament building in the Central Vista violates the design of the national emblem approved under the State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005.
A bench of Justices M R Shah and Krishna Murari told the petitioners that it is a matter of perception. “That impression depends on the mind of the person (seeing it),” the bench said, adding there was no violation of the 2005 Act.
The petitioners had contended that the lions in the sculpture unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July this year appeared “ferocious and aggressive” with their “mouth open and canine visible” unlike the “calm and composed” ones in the original — emperor Ashoka’s Sarnath Lion Capital.
“Having heard the petitioner…and having gone through the emblem regarding which the grievance is made, it cannot be said that the same is in any way contrary to the provisions of the Act. It cannot be said that any of the provisions of Act 2005 are violated. The state emblem of India installed on central vista project, New Delhi cannot be said to be in violation of the Act 2005 at the least,” the bench said dismissing the plea filed by two lawyers.
The petitioners contended that the national emblem design is an approved one and there cannot be artistic innovations to it and added that the one inaugurated by the PM violates the description and design of the State emblem in the Schedule of the 2005 Act.
They pointed out that the four lions being representative of the four core spiritual philosophies of Buddha, is not merely a design, but has cultural and philosophical significance and contended that the logo of ‘Satyameva Jayate’ is missing from the emblem.