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HC notice to AAP, its MLA accused of misuse of state emblem

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today sought response of Aam Aadmi Party and its MLA Rituraj Govind on a plea seeking his prosecution for allegedly issuing identity cards with the state emblem printed on them to party volunteers.

The court also sought replies from the Centre and Delhi Police before August 11 on the plea filed by a former journalist and now a member of the Congress party alleging misuse of the state emblem.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher, while issuing notice to the MLA and others, also restrained Govind, who represents Kirari Assembly constituency of north west Delhi, from issuing further identity cards carrying the state emblem to party volunteers.

“Issue notice to all the respondents. Meanwhile, respondent 5 (Govind) is restrained from issuing identity cards to the volunteers of respondent 4 (AAP) carrying state emblem,” the judge said.

The court directed all the respondents to file their responses before August 11.

Advocate Gaurang Kanth, appearing for the petitioner, contended that issuing of such identity cards by AAP MLA “amounts to misuse” of the state emblem as per the State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005.

The plea has sought a direction to the Union government to “grant prosecution sanction for prosecuting respondent 4 (AAP) and 5 (Govind)” under the Act.

The plea also sought a direction to “restrain” AAP and Govind “from misusing the state emblem with immediate effect”.

“The ID cards issued by the party MLA has the designation of the worker written as ‘In-charge Anti Corruption’ along with his name and address,” the petition has alleged.

Kanth has also alleged that residents of the area are under the impression that the AAP MLA has distributed “government jobs” as Govind has allegedly termed the issuance of ID cards as “Kirari Sarkari Naukari Mela”.

The petitioner has also alleged that the “young ‘officers’ of AAP government, who were conned into thinking that they are a legal arm of the government, started harassing small-time traders of Kirari, especially those who had not supported AAP during the recently-held elections.”

These representatives were also asking the people about their financial and social information, the petition alleged.

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