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Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Law Against Insult To National Flag

MUST KNOW RULES / CODE CONCERNING THE PROPER HOISTING AND TREATING OF THE INDIAN NATIONAL FLAG

The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act,1971 is a law in India prohibiting desecration of or insult to the country's national symbols, including the flag, constitution, and anthem.

The national legislature passed a version of this law in 1971, with significant amendments in 2003 that further prohibited many previously common uses of the flag, such as draping it over a podium during a speech, using it as decor, or incorporating it into clothing designs.


This Act is widely applied in all cases where a case of insult to National Honour, through disrespect to National Symbols, is reported, public or not, as well as intentional or otherwise.

Whoever in any public place or in any other place within public view burns, mutilates, defaces, defiles, disfigures, destroys, tramples upon or otherwise shows disrespect to or brings into contempt (whether by words, either spoken or written, or by acts) the Indian National Flag or the Constitution of India or any part thereof, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

Explanation 1 – Comments expressing disapprobation or criticism of the Constitution or of the Indian National Flag or of any measures of the Government with a view to obtain an amendment of the Constitution of India or an alteration of the Indian National Flag by lawful means do not constitute an offence under this section.

Explanation 2 – The expression, “Indian National Flag” includes any picture, painting, drawing or photograph, or other visible representation of the Indian National Flag, or of any part or parts thereof, made of any substance or represented on any substance.

Explanation 3 – The expression “public place” means any place intended for use by, or accessible to, the public and includes any public conveyance.



Explanation 4 - The disrespect to the Indian National flag means and includes —

(a) a gross affront or indignity offered to the Indian National Flag; or

(b) dipping the Indian National Flag in salute to any person or thing; or

(c flying the Indian National Flag at half-mast except on occasions on which the Flag is flown at half-mast on public buildings in accordance with the instructions issued by the Government; or

(d) using the Indian National Flag as a drapery in any form whatsoever except in state funerals or armed forces or other para-military forces funerals; or

(e) using the Indian National Flag:-(i) as a portion of costume, uniform or accessory of any description which is worn below the waist of any person; or(ii) by embroidering or printing it on cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins,undergarments or any dress material; or

(f) putting any kind of inscription upon the Indian National Flag; or

(g) using the Indian National Flag as a receptacle for receiving, delivering or carrying anything except flower petals before the Indian National Flag is unfurled as part of celebrations on special occasions including the Republic Day or the Independence Day; or

(h) using the Indian National Flag as covering for a statue or a monument or a speaker’s desk or a speaker’s platform; or

(i) allowing the Indian National Flag to touch the ground or the floor or trail in water intentionally; or

(j) draping the Indian National Flag over the hood, top, and sides or back or on a vehicle, train, boat or an aircraft or any other similar object; or

(k) using the Indian National Flag as a covering for a building; or

(l) intentionally displaying the Indian National Flag with the “saffron” down.


National Anthem

Whoever intentionally prevents the singing of the Jana Gana Mana or causes disturbances to any assembly engaged in such singing shall be punished with imprisonment for a term, which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

As Such the Law recognizes all the above cases as offences and convicts the Penalties or sentences as follows.

Whoever having already been convicted of an offence under section 2 or section 3 (comprising offences as mentioned above) is again convicted of any such offence shall be punishable for the second and for every subsequent offence, with imprisonment for a term, which shall not be less than one year 

(This is a concise statement of the law. Readers are advised to study in detail regarding the subject for better information concerning the same).



19 comments:

  1. In my neighborhood there is a building..I have never seen the people staying there..but on Republic Day they hoist the National Flag on the terrace after sunset and keep it there for the rest of the year..my daughter fumes and always asks me to report to the police for disrespecting the same..now reading your article I think my daughter is right..very informative..thanks..

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    1. You must report the matter immediately.

      Thanks for reading Ranita

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  2. thanks for this informative post.
    a must read!!!!

    anu

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  4. I am not sure if I am right, but there is specific size specified by the code for the flag where the length should be 1.5 times of the width, though the size of the Ashok Chakra is specifically mentioned but it also give the size of Ashok chakra for 9 or 10 sizes of flag.

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    2. Absolutely right.

      According to the Flag code of India, the Indian flag has a ratio of two by three (where the length of the flag is 1.5 times that of the width). All three stripes of the flag (India saffron [Kesari in the code], white and India green) should be equal in width and length. The size of the Ashoka Chakra was not specified in the Flag code, but the Ashoka Chakra must have twenty-four spokes that are evenly spaced. In section 4.3.1 of "IS1: Manufacturing standards for the Indian Flag", there is a chart that details the size of the Ashoka Chakra on the nine specific sizes of the national flag (see the table below). In both the Flag code and IS1, they call for the Ashoka Chakra to be printed or painted on both sides of the flag in navy blue color.

      Flag size Length and width (mm) vis -a - vis Size of Ashoka Chakra (mm)
      6300 × 4200 -- 1295
      3600 × 2400 -- 740
      2700 × 1800 -- 555
      1800 × 1200 -- 370
      1350 × 900 -- 280
      900 × 600 -- 185
      450 × 300 -- 90
      225 × 150 -- 40
      150 × 100 -- 25

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  5. Hi Anupam

    This is a question that has been baffling me for sometime...In so many countries of the world, some with a whole lot of patriotic fervour, the rules are not so strict..We see the flag on clothes, bags and even shoes etc. Why is it that we have so many rules? Not that I am against it and I respect all these rules but just wondering why!

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    2. I understand your point of view and I know that you don't mean anything against the national flag. Just ask yourself how do you feel for that nation where its citizens use it's national flag symbol on their shoes, bags etc.

      As for your question regarding why these rules are there in the first place, well, India is a sovereign country and it's free to make rules for its national symbols. The national flag is a symbol of great significance, hence the rules are strict and detailed. Plus we all know how intolerant and mad, fanatics can be on certain nationalistic / political controversies. Hence to strike deterrence in their hearts against disrespect of our national flag, such rules have to be there. Plus it shows a great deal about the honour and respect of the countrymen of a particular country towards their nation, when they frame such rules concerning the usage of their national symbols.

      Thanks for reading Jayashree.

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    3. I am with you 'The national flag is a symbol of great significance, hence the rules are strict and detailed. Plus we all know how intolerant and mad, fanatics can be on certain nationalistic / political controversies. Hence to strike deterrence in their hearts against disrespect of our national flag, such rules have to be there.'
      But the later part - 'Plus it shows a great deal about the honour and respect of the countrymen of a particular country towards their nation, when they frame such rules concerning the usage of their national symbols.' This can only be true for the people who wrote the constitution, who fought for independence. Definitely not the people who today sit and claim to be the defendants of the constitution. In India - Nationalism is very misguided. If I carried a bag with tri-colors it would only mean I am proud of my country, it wouldn't mean that I am trying to disrespect my country. How sad is it that after winning medals for the country, our sports persons cannot hurls the flag the way they would like to, with sheer madness, with sheer joy. They wouldn't do it to disrespect the flag, on the contrary to show allegiance.

      Nonetheless, very informative post. Thanks.

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    4. Thanks for reading Megha.

      I understand why you say what you've said. But the whole point here is that of non trivializing the national flag. Carrying a national flag printed on your purse / bag is, with all due respect to your opinion, a trivialized display of our national symbol. And I'm not trying here to be a better nationalist than you are. For all I know you are as much a lover of the dignity and sovereignty of our country as I am. But here the issue is as basic as preserving the dignity of something as great as the national flag. For you it's a purse or a bag, for someone else it could be a shirt. Therefore the prohibition is uniformly upheld.

      As for our country's sport persons, I don't think in any of the rules that I've cited above, it bans a sportsperson from displaying the tricolour in a dignified fashion (though with sheer excitement). They do it all the time, but I don't think any action is ever taken against them. It's because that's not banned.

      Anyways, if you have info of any such instance please let me know, we could have a discussion about it.

      Regards

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  6. Nice Article !! I was only aware with prior reading this post "THE PREVENTION OF INSULTS TO NATIONAL HONOUR ACT, 1971"

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  7. Wow it was really informative - thankz for sharing :) :)

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  8. can more than one person hoist one flag?

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  9. Hi everyone,

    can we use our national flag as our profile picture?
    ie As whatsapp or facebook profile pic.

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