Article 51A(a), Constitution of India provides that it shall be the duty of every citizens of India to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem.
Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 provides for punishment for dishonour /disrespect to –
- Indian National Flag ,
- Constitution of India or any part thereof,
- National Anthem.
“Indian National Flag” as defined under the said Act includes any picture, painting, drawing or photograph, or other visible representation of the Indian National Flag, or of any part or parts thereof, made of any substance or represented on any substance.
The disrespect to the Indian National Flag means and includes—
(a) a gross affront or indignity offered to the Indian National Flag; or
(b) dipping the Indian National Flag in salute to any person or thing; or
(c) flying the Indian National Flag at half-mast except on occasions on which the Indian National Flag is flown at half-mast on public buildings in accordance with the instructions issued by the Government; or
(d) using the Indian National Flag as a drapery in any form whatsoever except in State funerals or armed forces or other para-military forces funerals; or
(e) using the Indian National Flag —
(i) as a portion of costume, uniform or accessory of any description which is worn below the
waist of any person; or
(ii) by embroidering or printing it on cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, undergarments or any
dress material; or
(f) putting any kind of inscription upon the Indian National Flag; or
(g) using the Indian National Flag as a receptacle for receiving, delivering or carrying anything
except flower petals before the Indian National Flag is unfurled as part of celebrations on special occasions including the Republic Day or the Independence day; or
(h) using the Indian National Flag as covering for a statute or a monument or a speaker’s desk or a speaker’s platform; or
(i) allowing the Indian National Flag to touch the ground or the floor or trail in water
(j) draping the Indian National Flag over the hood, top and sides or back or on a vehicle, train,
boat or an aircraft or any other similar object; or
(k) using the Indian National Flag as a covering for a building; or
(l) intentionally displaying the Indian National Flag with the “saffron” down.
Punishment for insult to the Indian National Flag or the Constitution of India or any part thereof
Section 2 provides for punishment for burning, mutilating, defacing, defiling, disfiguring, destroying, trampling upon or otherwise showing disrespect to or bringing into contempt (whether by words, either spoken or written, or by acts) the Indian National Flag or the Constitution of India or any part thereof, in any public place or in any other place within public view. Such person shall be punished with –
- imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years,
- or with fine, or
- with both.
Section 3 provides for imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both for intentionally prevents the singing of the Indian National Anthem or causes disturbance to any assembly engaged in such singing.
Section 3A provides that whoever, having already been convicted of an offence under section 2 or section 3, is again convicted of any such offence shall be punishable for the second and for every subsequent offence, with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year.
Flag Code of India,2002
There shall be no restriction on the display of the National Flag by members of general public, private organizations, educational institutions, etc., except to the extent provided in the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 & Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.
The Code is detailed and specifies how the National Flag may be used. It brings together all such laws, conventions, practices and instructions for the guidance and benefit of all concerned Part II of the Code is devoted to the display of the National Flag by members of public, private organizations, educational institutions, etc. Part III of the Code relates to display of the National Flag by Central and State governments . It may be accessed here.
Image from here