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National Emblem Controversy: Can Ashoka Pillar be changed at will? What does the law of the land say?


Bright Times News: The new national symbol or Ashoka Pillar unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has created a new controversy. It is alleged that the new national symbol has been replaced by a lion statue. Not only the lion statue but also whether the Prime Minister can unveil the new national symbol for decoration on the roof of the new parliament building has raised several questions.

At the same time, there was a controversy as no one from the opposition was present at the unveiling ceremony. Opposition groups called for a new Ashoka Pillar and unveiled it. Several tweets have also been made on social media in protest. The question is whether the Center has the power to change the state symbol.

Section 8 (2) (f) of the National Symbols Act, 2005 states that the Central Government shall have the power to change all objects (including the specification of the design of the symbol and its use) as it deems necessary or expedient. Therefore, according to the provisions, the government has the power to change the design of the national symbol.

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There has already been disagreement among jurists about changing the design of the national symbol. According to Sanjay Hegde, a senior advocate in the Supreme Court, there is no symbol in the Indian constitution. The symbol design is specified in Appendices I and II of the 2005 Act. By amending the law, the government can give a new symbol if it wants.

According to senior advocate Sanjoy Ghose, the 2005 law allows the central government to change or amend the national symbol. But the issue of change and correction is quite serious. The symbol has a meaning. He said the government should have been very careful about any such issue.

According to Delhi High Court lawyer Radhika Roy, the design of the national emblem is specified in Schedules I and II of the 2005 Act. As a result, the government will not be able to change the design at will. To make a change, the approval of both houses of Parliament is required.

Faizan Mustafa, vice-chancellor of law at NALSAR University in Hyderabad, said the constitution did not specify anything about changing the national symbol. Since the national symbol has a flag before the change, he thinks it should be respected.

A law professor who did not want to be named agreed with the vice-chancellor. According to him, if the elected government wants to amend something, it can do so. However, the professor said that the provision of punishment is not in the constitution.

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