Can`t book Sachin, Sania for insulting Tricolour: Police

Madurai: Sportstars Sachin Tendulkar, Sania Mirza and TV host Mandira Bedi cannot be booked for allegedly insulting the Tricolour on foreign soil without the Centre`s permission, police told the Madras High Court.

"No. Not possible without the sanction of the Central Government," police said in an counter affidavit filed in the Madurai bench of the high court.

Police submitted that none of the accused persons named in the complaint belonged to Tamil Nadu nor were they available on the date of the complaint or on subsequent dates.

The counter affidavit filed on Tuesday came in response to a petition by advocate B Stalin seeking a direction to a police inspector to register criminal cases against them under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 and Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper use) Act, 1950.

When an offence is committed outside India, no prosecution under the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper use) Act could be instituted without central government`s sanction, the affidavit said.

The lawyer should have approached the central government for proper sanction for prosecution, it said.

According to the petitioner, while celebrating his birthday, Sachin Tendulkar had cut a cake decorated with the colours of the national flag at Jamaica on March 10, 2010.

Similarly on May 19, 2010, Sania Mirza was resting her feet on a guitar painted in the tricolour while posing as a model for an International company, the petitioner said.

In Mandira`s case, she was wearing a sari with the national flag on its border touching her feet, the petitioner said.


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