The Bombay High Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea by West Bengal chief minister (CM) Mamata Banerjee seeking to quash the criminal complaint filed against her by a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alleging that she disrespected the national anthem in 2022.
A single bench of Amit Borkar was hearing an application by the CM seeking to quash the complaint filed by her by Vivekanand Gupta for offences punishable under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act. The bench dismissed the same.
Ms Banerjee had also filed an application on January 20 in the high court challenging the summons issued to her on February 1, 2022, by metropolitan magistrate P. I. Mokashi.
However, on February 25, 2022, a special judge Rahul Rokade had stayed the summons against her but sought a response from the complainant and directed the magistrate to decide the matter afresh. The Trinamool Congress party chief had moved also challenged this order by the sessions court in the high court.
The complaint was filed by Mr. Gupta alleging that on a two-day visit to Maharashtra on December 1, 2021, the CM had gone to a public function at an auditorium in Cuffe Parade. After the programme started, she was singing the national anthem while sitting and sang two verses of the anthem after standing up and then left abruptly. The said video of the programme went viral on social media. The said act is an insult and disrespect to the national anthem, he alleged.