The 'case' of SP leader's tricolour birthday cake

The case under Section 2 of Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, was lodged late Monday, several hours after the cake was cut on the 91st birthday of veteran Samajwadi Party leader Choudhary Harmohan Singh - a close associate of party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

According to police, it was a five-kg cake and the function was attended by several SP leaders, including Shivpal Singh Yadav, Mulayam's brother. "From the video footage and photographs submitted to us by the local news channels and newspapers, it appears the cake resembled the national flag with a 'chakra' in its centre," police inspector H.R. Verma told reporters Tuesday in Kanpur, some 80 km from Lucknow.

"On the directions of the district administration, an enquiry has been initiated and further action would be taken on the completion of enquiry," he added. The Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, prohibits desecration of or insult to the country's national symbols, including the flag, the constitution and the anthem.

According to officials, whoever in a public place or any place within public view burns, mutilates, defaces, disfigures, destroys or tramples upon or otherwise shows disrespect to the national flag shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine or with both.

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