The Supreme Court on Wednesday gave the Jaganmohan Reddy government four weeks’ time to comply with an Andhra Pradesh High Court order asking it to remove the colours of the ruling YSR Congress Party painted on Grama Panchayat buildings in the state.
“We have examined the matter carefully. We are of the opinion that the judgment of the High Court does not warrant interference. There is no ambiguity in the direction issued by the High Court by its judgment dated 10.03.2020 that any colour which is similar to the flag of any political party should not be used for painting the Gram Panchayat buildings,” a bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, Krishna Murari and S Ravindra Bhat ordered, disposing of a plea by the state government.
As it extended time for compliance of the directions in the March 10 judgment, the bench “closed” the contempt proceedings initiated by the High Court against government officials for not complying with its directions.
The High Court had on March 10 given the state 10 days to remove the colours painted on the panchayat buildings. It had also asked the chief secretary “to formulate the guidelines to specify suitable colour combination for painting the Panchayat/Government buildings and other properties belonging to the Government as well as local bodies and authorities; which should not be similar to the colours of the flags and office of political parties”.
On April 20, the HC extended the time for implementing the judgment to three weeks from expiry of the lockdown in view of Covid-19.
Meanwhile, the state on April 23 drew up fresh guidelines for painting government buildings. This was also challenged in the HC, which noted that its previous order had not been complied with and initiated contempt proceedings against the officials.
The state challenged this in the Supreme Court.
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