Complaint pertains to insult and disrespect to tricolour

The Inspector of Melur police station near here has said that it is not legally possible for him to register a criminal case against cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, tennis player Sania Mirza, actor Mandira Bedi and a woman official of the International Cricket Council for allegedly disrespecting the national flag on the basis of a complaint lodged by a local lawyer.

Inspector K. Madasamy made the submission in a counter affidavit filed in reply to a petition filed by the lawyer, B. Stalin, in the Madras High Court Bench here seeking a direction to register a First Information Report. He said that the individuals against whom the complaint had been lodged were not residents of Tamil Nadu and hence it was not possible for him to register the case.

Further, stating that the alleged offences had been committed outside India, the Inspector said that the proper course available to the petitioner was to approach the Centre under Section 188 of the Code of Criminal Procedure seeking sanction for prosecuting the individuals. Such sanction was required even as per the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950.

“The petitioner, being an advocate practising before this High Court, is well aware of the alternative remedy. Yet, he has approached this court. It is nothing but sheer waste of precious time of this court,” the counter affidavit read. In the petition, filed through his counsel W. Peter Ramesh Kumar, the petitioner had sought to punish Sachin Tendulkar for allegedly cutting a tricolour cake on March 10, 2010 in Jamaica.

He claimed that such an act amounted to insulting and disrespecting the national flag. Similarly, he accused Sania Mirza of placing her feet on the tricolour placed on a guitar while posing for photo shoot on May 19, 2010. Mandira Bedi was accused of wearing a tricolour sari on April 29, 2007, and the ICC official of stamping the national flag on March 31 this year. The petitioner claimed to have seen those visuals in newspapers, television and on the Internet.