Kochi: In a relief to Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, a court here on Saturday discharged him in the 2008 national anthem case.
Allowing his discharge petition, Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate M Manoj held that no case has been made out against Tharoor, which if rebutted, would warrant his conviction. The court also observed that Tharoor had `not intentionally` prevented singing of the national anthem.
The case was registered against Tharoor, Minister of State for HRD on the basis of a private complaint by Joy Kaitharath stating that Tharoor had committed offences under Sect 3 of Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act, 1977, enacted to prohibit desecration of the national anthem.
According to the complainant, Tharoor had on Dec 16, 2008, interrupted the national anthem at a function of the Federal Bank here and had asked the audience to sing the anthem by placing their right hand on the left side of the chest like the Americans, instead of the attention posture.
Kaitharath had later sought withdrawal of his complaint, which was not allowed by the court.
The court held that though after the commencement of the singing of the national anthem, Tharoor had told the audience to adopt the American posture while singing the anthem and most of the members of the audience and dais had adopted the said posture and sung the anthem.