National Anthem Insult Case: Relief to CM Mamata, Sessions Court Stays Summons

The Mumbai sessions court has stayed the summons issued by the magistrate court against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. CM Banerjee was summoned on March 2 in a case filed against her for an offence punishable under the Prevention of Insults to National Honor Act. The next date for the hearing of this case has been fixed for March 25. Banerjee had visited Mumbai in December last year. Here she met leaders of the ruling Shiv Sena and NCP. During a program on this tour, she was accused of insulting the national anthem.

On February 2, the metropolitan magistrate court in Mumbai directed CM Banerjee to appear on March 2, 2022, for the hearing of this matter. The court had given this order on a complaint lodged against her for allegedly insulting the national anthem during her visit to Mumbai last year. The complaint was lodged by Mumbai BJP leader Vivekanand Gupta.

The court had also said that though Mamata Banerjee is a chief minister, the sanction is not required to proceed with the proceedings against her and no bar is applicable as she was not discharging her official duty. Gupta had alleged in the complaint that Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee had insulted the national anthem during her visit to Mumbai. Gupta had demanded the registration of an FIR against Mamta Banerjee in this case.

The court had said that it is prima facie clear from the complaint that the video clip and the video available on YouTube that the accused sang the national anthem and suddenly stopped in between and then left the stage. This prima facie proves that the accused has committed an offence that is punishable under section 3 of the Prevention of Insults to National Honor Act, 1971.