Politics
National Anthem’s Case & Mamata Banerjee’s Appeal

National Anthem’s Case & Mamata Banerjee’s Appeal

At an occasion in Mumbai, Mamata Banerjee sang the national anthem before stopping abruptly and leaving the podium, according to a magistrate court’s observation in February of last year. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee filed a criminal revision application challenging summons issued against her in February 2022 by a magistrate’s court on the complaint of a BJP member alleging disrespect to the national anthem.

The special court in Mumbai that presides over the trials of criminal cases against MPs and MLAs reserved its decision on the application on Tuesday. Before starting to hear the appeal, the special court temporarily halted the proceedings in the lower court. On January 12, Special Judge R N Rokade will decide the plea.

Has the Violation of Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, taking place?

During an occasion in Mumbai, the chief minister Mamata Banerjee sang the national anthem at an event held in Mumbai, stopped abruptly and left the podium., violating the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act of 1971, according to a magistrate court’s observation in February of last year. After that, it sent her a summons requesting her presence.

BJP member and lawyer Vivekand Gupta, who had filed the complaint, submitted that sanction was not required as she was not here for an official visit. On Tuesday, prosecutor Sumesh Panjwani submitted that the reason for Banerjee’s visit was not official but one with a “political agenda”. He said that the programme, organized on December 1, 2021, at Y B Chavan Centre was a political one held by the Opposition parties.

Prevention of singing of the Indian National Anthem

If someone is found guilty of intentionally hindering or creating disturbance to any assembly engaged in singing the national anthem, they could be sentenced to up to three years in prison or a fine under Section 3 of the Act, which prohibits singing the national song.

Proceedings in Magistrate Court

According to the order issued by the Metropolitan Magistrate in February 2022, “It is prima facie evidence from the complaint, verification statement of the complainant, video clip in the DVD, and video clips on YouTube links that the accused had sung the National Anthem and stopped abruptly and left the dias, which prima facie proof that the accused (Banerjee) has committed punishable under section 3 of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.”

The magistrate’s court further stated that a penalty would not be necessary to continue against Banerjee in this case because the incident was not a government function nor an official occasion. “Even though the accused is West Bengal’s Chief Minister, she wasn’t performing her official duties. Consequently, the accused’s action…does not fall under her official responsibility.

Therefore, a sanction is not necessary, and further action can be taken against the offender, according to the magistrate’s court. The Special Court has reserved the order in this matter. Special judge RN Rokade stated that he will pass the order on Mamata’s plea on January 12, 2023.

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