A Mumbai court has issued summons to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee based on a complaint alleging that she disrespected the national anthem during her visit to Mumbai in December 2020, Live Law reported on Wednesday. She has been directed to appear before the court on March 2.
Metropolitan Magistrate PI Mokashi, in an order dated February 1, said prima facie it is evident from video clips provided that Banerjee’s act was punishable under Section 3, relating to the prevention of singing of the national anthem, under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Mumbai secretary and lawyer Vivekanand Gupta had filed a complaint in court last month. According to the complaint, Banerjee had attended an event at Mumbai Cuffe Parade on December 1, 2020.
The complaint alleged that Banerjee began singing the national anthem while she was seated. She later stood up, sang a few more lines and left the dais, the complaint said, according to Live Law.
In the order, the court observed that Banerjee was not discharging her official duties as a chief minister when the alleged offence was committed and hence sanction is not required to proceed against her.
“...The function...attended by the accused was not a government function or not her official function as no government authorities or officials were present on the dias,” the court order said.