Lion sculpture atop new Parliament building doesn’t violate State Emblem Act: SC

“It depends on the mind of the person who sees it. It’s your perception. It does not violate any law,” SC observed while challenging the lion sculpture installed on the top of the new Parliament.
Grand Central Vista (File Photo)
Grand Central Vista (File Photo)

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday held that the lion sculpture installed atop the new Parliament building under construction as part of the Central Vista project does not violate the State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005.

“It depends on the mind of the person who sees it. It’s your perception. It does not violate any law,” SC observed while challenging the lion sculpture installed on the top of the new Parliament.

A bench of Justices MR Shah and Krishna Murari in their order said, “Having gone through the emblem, it can’t be said that it’s in contravention to the provisions of the act. It cannot be said that any of the prisons of act 2005 are violated. States emblem of India of Central Vista project cannot be said to be in violation of the act as alleged.”

The lawyers in the plea had argued before the bench that the national emblem is a symbol of national honour and heritage. He also added that there could not be artistic innovation with respect to the approved design of the national emblem.

The plea had argued that "Visible changes: have been made in the approved design of the official emblem and the look of the Ashoka pillar lions violated the State Emblem of India (Prohibition Against Improper Use) Act."

The plea also said that said lions portrayed in the emblem appear to be "ferocious and aggressive" with their "mouth open and teeth, fangs visible” and the change in the design of the State emblem was manifestly arbitrary, violated its sanctity and would not pass the muster of Article 14 of the Constitution of India."

Rein in his plea had further stated that the act of the Union Government to impinge upon the emblem without following due process was in derogation of Article 21, which envisaged the right to 'one's national pride and constitutional faith'.

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