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Supreme Court approves lion sculpture installed atop new Parliament; dismisses PIL

The bench comprising Justices MR Shah and Krishna Murari did not find any violation of the law by the new emblem. When the petitioner submitted that the lions in the new emblem looked aggressive, the top court observed: "that impression depends on the mind of the person".

Supreme Court approves lion sculpture installed atop new Parliament; dismisses PIL
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First Published Sep 30, 2022, 12:06 PM IST

Supreme Court on Friday said that the lion sculpture installed atop the new Parliament building does not violate the State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005. The observation came while the apex court dismissed the public interest litigation filed against the lion emblem.

The bench comprising Justices MR Shah and Krishna Murari did not find any violation of the law by the new emblem. When the petitioner submitted that the lions in the new emblem looked aggressive, the top court observed: "that impression depends on the mind of the person".

Also Read: Why is the 16,000 kg national emblem over new Parliament unique?

The petitioner had claimed that the newly installed State emblem of India at the top of the Central Vista project was visibly different. The plea noted that the new design depicts a changed composure of the lions than that of the symbol preserved in the Sarnath museum. However, the Apex court did not find the emblem installed as contrary to or violative of the provisions of the State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005.

The National Emblem is 6.5 metres tall and made of bronze, weighing 9500 Kg. It has been cast at the top of the New Parliament Building's central foyer. To support the Emblem, a steel structure weighing around 6500 Kg has been built.

The government has clarified that the National Emblem's concept sketch and process of casting on the roof of the new Parliament building had gone through eight different stages of preparation, from clay modelling/computer graphics to bronze casting and polishing.

The 'angry lion' narrative had been echoed by the Opposition since Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the sculpture. The Opposition parties pointed out that while the lions in the original Sarnath sculpture are sitting gracefully, the new statue projects the lions with 'bared fangs' showing 'aggression'. 

The government, however, contended that if an exact replica of the original were to be placed on the new building, it would barely be visible beyond the periphery. It further pointed out that the Sarnath original was placed at the ground level while the new emblem is 33 metres from the ground. Government sources said this created a misplaced impression of the calm versus angry lions. Over 100 artisans from across the country have been employed to design, craft and cast the emblem for the past six months.

Also Read: Calm lions vs 'ferocious' lions: Govt tames Opposition uproar over national emblem

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