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HC refuses to quash proceedings against Tharoor in national-anthem case

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HC refuses to quash proceedings against Tharoor in national-anthem case
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Kochi: The Kerala High Court Wednesday refused to quash proceedings against Union Minister Sashi Tharoor in a case of alleged disrespect to the national anthem pending before a lower court here.

Ruling on the petition, the court refused to intervene in the matter. The ruling allows the police to go ahead with the proceedings against the Congress minister. The chargesheet in the case is likely to be submitted by Saturday.

Shashi Tharoor had Tuesday approached the Kerala High Court seeking to quash proceedings against him.

Tharoor had contended that the case, alleging violation of provisions of Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act, was solely motivated by "political consideration" and further continuance of proceedings will lead only to "intense harassment" for him.

The case was registered against Tharoor following a private complaint by activist Joy Kaitharath in a ACJM court stating the Congress leader had committed offences under Sec 3 of Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act, 1977, enacted to prohibit desecration or insult to the national anthem.

In the complaint, it was alleged that Tharoor had on December 16, 2008 interrupted national anthem at a function of Federal Bank at Kochi and had asked audience to sing the anthem by keeping the right hand on the chest like Americans.

Tharoor had earlier approached the High Court challenging the ACJM's order declining his plea to issue summons to the Federal Bank Manager to produce a CD of the function. The court had on November 14 declined to interfere with the proceedings of the ACJM.

He said filing of complaint and further proceedings were "gross abuse" of the process of court. No offence under the Act can be even indicated and much less established. He also contended that the evidence tendered does not attract Sec 3 of the Act.

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