The Kerala high court on Wednesday declined to stay the proceedings in a lower court against Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor in a case relating to the alleged disrespect to the national anthem.
A case was registered against Tharoor on the basis of a complaint by an activist that he had committed offence under Section 3 of the Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act, 1977, dealing with desecration or insult to the national anthem. He claimed that in 2008, Tharoor had interrupted the national anthem after a brief speech in Kochi.
The petitioner claimed that Tharoor took the microphone and directed the audience that the national anthem should be sung in the American way keeping the right hand on the left chest instead of the usual 'attention posture'.
A case was registered at the Ernakulam chief judicial magistrate court. Tharoor had sought the production of the CD recorded by the organizer of the function which was declined by the magistrate.
Challenging this he approached the High Court with a request to stay proceedings at the lower court. Dismissing his plea the court said the accused cannot seek the aid of the court to summon a document to prove his innocence at a pre-trial stage. The lower court can now go ahead with further proceedings.