West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday approached the Bombay High Court against a special court’s order directing a magistrate to decide afresh a plea seeking the registration of a First Information Report (FIR) against her for allegedly disrespecting the national anthem.
A metropolitan magistrate’s court had in March 2022 issued a summons to Ms Banerjee on a complaint filed by local BJP office-bearer Vivekanand Gupta.
Mr Gupta claimed in the complaint that Ms Banerjee, during a function at the Yashwantrao Chavan Auditorium in December 2021, remained seated when the national anthem began, and later stood up and sang two verses before stopping abruptly and leaving the venue.
The West Bengal chief minister challenged the issuance of summons before a special court for cases against MPs and MLAs.
In January 2023, special judge RN Rokade set aside the summons on procedural grounds and asked the magistrate to consider Gupta’s complaint afresh.
Ms Banerjee, in her plea before the high court, contended that the special court should have quashed the summons once and for all, and not remanded the case back to the magistrate.
Her application is likely to be heard by a single judge of the High Court on March 27.
Mr Gupta’s complaint claimed that Ms Banerjee’s actions amounted to insult and disrespect to the anthem and she committed an offense under the Prevention of Insults to National Honor Act, 1971.
He had first filed a complaint at the Cuffe Parade police station, but when no action was taken, he approached the magistrate.
Meanwhile, the Sewree magistrate’s court on Tuesday rejected Ms Banerjee’s plea seeking a stay to the proceedings against her.
Ms Banerjee had filed an application through her lawyer Majeed Memon before magistrate PI Mokashi, stating that she had approached the high court and hence the proceedings should be stayed. Gupta opposed the application.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)