The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to Congress, Nationalist Congress Party and Trinamool Congress on a PIL seeking to restrain them from using party flags resembling the Indian national tricolour.
A bench of justices B S Chauhan and J Chelameswar also sought a response from the Centre and the Election Commission on the issue of framing guidelines to restrain parties from imitating the tricolour.
The court passed the order on a PIL filed by Jamshedpur-based social activist Amarpreet Singh Khanuja, who pleaded that the apex court must direct the Centre to take immediate steps to stop all political parties from imitating the national flag.
He submitted that the Congress is using a "colourable imitation" of the national flag, with the only difference being that the party was using the 'hand' symbol in place of the Ashok Chakra.
In case of the NCP and the TMC, he said the parties were using 'watch' and 'flowers and grass' respectively in place of the Ashok Chakra.
"The common man of this country recognises the tricolour as a symbol of national integration and unity and identifies itself with the tricolour. Political parties should not be allowed to use flags resembling and similar to the Indian national flag," he said.
The petition sought the issuance of appropriate writ, order or direction to the central government/Election Commission to frame appropriate rules, regulations and/or guidelines with respect to grant of permission regarding the use of national flag or its colourable imitation by any person.