In a major twist to the national anthem case against Union Minister of State Shashi Tharoor, the complainant on Friday approached the ACJM Court seeking to withdraw the complaint. However, magistrate M Manoj observed that, prima facie, the petition was not maintainable and directed to approach the High Court seeking to quash the case in view of the withdrawal petition.According to the complainant Joy Kaitharath, the accused, having realised that he has committed a mistake came forward with an unconditional public apology on March 9 for what happened while singing the anthem.
Tharoor also expressed his wish to terminate all the issues emanating from the incident and requested the petitioner to end the case, the petitioner submitted.Tharoor’s counsel K Ramkumar submitted that the complainant is not interested in pursuing the case. So the magistrate can close further proceedings in the case. To which the Magistrate observed that the court had found that there was prima facie evidence to proceed on the complaint that Tharoor had committed an offence under Section 3 of the Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act, 1977, enacted to prohibit insult to the country’s national anthem. It also said that pre-charge trial was completed and evidence taken. So it would not be possible to consider the withdrawal petition.
Based on the request of both the parties, the court posted the petition for detailed hearing to March 27.According to Tharoor, there was no intentional prevention of the singing of the anthem.
The case was registered against Tharoor based on an incident that happened after he delivered the Hormis Memorial lecture on December 16, 2008, in Kochi.