The Madras High Court disposed of a Petition filed seeking direction to remove the stickers and other artifacts containing “Emblem”, “G”, “Govt of India”, “Government of Tamil Nadu”, “High Court” and “Police” in all private vehicles.
Ajay Francis Inigo Loyola , counsel for the petitioner submitted that large number of persons are misusing the stickers and other artifacts containing “Emblem”, “G”, “Govt of India”, “Government of Tamil Nadu”, “High Court” and “Police” on private vehicles, without authority. Directions be given to the respondents to remove such stickers and artifacts from private vehicles and necessary action be taken against the erring persons.
A Single Judge of the High Court, in W.P.No.14697 of 2014, under order dated 05.01.2022, has issued the following directions:
“64. Though, the writ petitioner is able to establish that the National Emblem has been misused by the Ex-Member of Parliament for the purpose of registering a complaint against the original writ petitioner, no relief needs to be considered as the original writ petitioner died. Considering the inaction on the part of the State Government with reference to the letter issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs to the Government of Tamil Nadu dated 12.06.2023, this Court has considered the issues raised by the petitioner and is inclined to pass the following orders:
(i) The 5 th respondent/the Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu is directed to issue wide publications through Visual Media and Press Media, providing an opportunity to all concerned to remove all kind of unauthorised usage of Flags, Emblems, Names, Symbols, Stickers, Seals, etc., within a period of one month, from the date of such publication.
(ii) The 5 th respondent is directed to register cases under the provisions of the Act, on expiry of the said period of one month and prosecute the offenders by following the procedures as contemplated under law.
(iii) The respondents 3 to 5 are directed to sensitise the competent authorities/Police officials for the purpose of securing informations regarding misuse of Flags, Emblems, Stickers, Names, etc., and in the event of any violation on the part of the law enforcing officials strict actions are to be taken against such officials, for dereliction of duty.
(iv) The 5 th respondent is directed to instruct the Subordinate Police officials across the State of Tamil Nadu to register cases under the provisions of the Act and Rules, in the event of receiving information from any person and by verifying/investigating the genuinity of the informations and complaints.
(v) The 5 th respondent/the Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu is directed to issue appropriate circular/instructions for implementation of Act and Rules, to all the Subordinates/Police officials, within a period of two weeks from the date of uploading of this order copy in the official website of the High Court. The instructions to be issued shall contain the procedures to be followed for registration of cases by the competent authorities, in consonance with the Act and Rules.”
The directions given by the Single Judge in the aforesaid order would take care of the grievance raised by the petitioner in the present petition also , held by the Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjay V.Gangapurwala and Justice P.D. Audikesavalu.
Additional Public Prosecutor submits that pursuant to the said order, a Circular Memorandum has been issued on 19.01.2022, for implementation of the aforesaid order.
According to Additional Public Prosecutor, orders are issued and actions are being taken against the erring persons. Till date, 104017 private vehicles containing stickers and artifacts containing “Emblem”, “G”, “Govt of India”, “Government of Tamil Nadu”, “High Court” and “Police” were detected. The same were directed to be rectified and a fine of Rs.16,56,000/- was imposed on those erring persons.
“Monitoring and survey of such vehicles is a continuous process. The respondent authorities are bound to ensure that the stickers and artifacts containing “Emblem”, “G”, “Govt of India”, “Government of Tamil Nadu”, “High Court” and “Police” and such other institutions, are not being misused and upon detection of the same, action is required to be taken by the authorities.”
It is assured to the High Court by the Additional Government Pleader that the State authorities would take stern action against the erring persons. ‘
It is the responsibility of the State authorities to ensure that the number plate stickers of the private vehicles are not in contravention of the Rules, Regulations and Executive Instructions , the Bench directed.