The state human rights commission has recommended action against the then office bearers of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation for playing the national anthem to stop a ruckus during its 2006 annual meeting.
“National anthem cannot be or should not be played for stopping disturbances,” observed Justice VG Munshi, member of the Maharashtra Human Rights Commission. “It must be played at proper time and with full honour,” added Munshi.
The incident took place during the corporation’s annual meeting on November 7, 2006, which was attended by almost all the civic body’s office bearers, corporators and officers.
The national anthem was played to quell an uproar during the meeting, which continued despite the anthem being played loudly.
Manohar Totlani, a social worker from Belapur, had moved the rights commission seeking action against those guilty of “dishonouring” the national anthem.
He had alleged that the Navi Mumbai police had initiated criminal action against him when he went to give them a notice about his intended hunger strike to protest the anthem’s misuse.
The Navi Mumbai police had taken a stand that nothing as alleged had ever happened in the corporation’s meeting. This prompted Justice Munshi to order an inquiry through its own investigation wing.
Totlani had also sought quashing the proceedings against him. The rights commission refused to interfere with the criminal proceedings pending against him as it found that charge sheet was already filed against him and the trial was pending.