Adv. Aires Rodrigues has today moved the Bombay High Court at Goa over the Goa Government nominating Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Pramod Sawant to hoist the national flag at the Independence Day State function to be held at Panaji.
In a letter petition filed today, Adv. Rodrigues has sought that the High Court initiate appropriate action including Suo-Motu proceedings. A copy of the petition has been sent to the Chief Justice of India and the Acting Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court.
Adv. Rodrigues in his petition has stated that the immediate intervention of the High Court was warranted to ensure that the sanctity and solemnity of Good Governance and laid down Protocol is not polluted nor fiddled with by Power intoxicated Politicians and to ensure that the mandate of law and the constitutional frame work is strictly complied with.
Pointing out that at the Independence Day State function it is the Chief Minister who hoists the national flag and in his absence it would have to be only by the Senior most Minister or a Minister nominated by the Chief Minister, Adv. Rodrigues has drawn the attention of the High Court that this year due to the absence of the Chief Minister who is now abroad, very shockingly and in rank violation of the laid down norm and protocol, the Goa Government has nominated the Speaker of Legislative Assembly to hoist the national flag.
Stating that as the Speaker is an independent authority and not a part of the Government, with the Constitutional frame work requiring him to be non-partisan, Adv. Rodrigues has submitted that it was absolutely incomprehensible as to how the Speaker could assume the role and responsibility of the Chief Minister.
Adv. Rodrigues in his petition has also drawn the High Court’s attention to a 1992 Constitutional bench judgment where the Supreme Court of India has reiterated extensively on the independence and impartiality of the Speaker’s post.
Stating that until 1973 it was the Governor that hoisted the national flag on Independence Day, Adv. Rodrigues has submitted that in February 1974, the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M.Karunanidhi successfully took up the issue with then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and since then it has always been the Chief Minister who has been hoisting the Flag at the State level function on 15thAugust.
Further stating that the Government is bound by the Constitution of India to uphold the constitutional mandate and constitutional values, Adv. Rodrigues has stated that the oath of office and secrecy administered upon the Ministers and officials including high ranking officials shows that they are duty bound to uphold at all times the Constitution and the Rule of law without fear or default.