Kerala HC quashes Tharoor's plea

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday rejected Union Minister of State for Human Resources Development Shashi Tharoor’s plea for quashing an ongoing case against him a Kochi magistrate court over his alleged insult to the national anthem.

Dismissing the petition, Justice S S Satheesh Chandran said the charge sheets had not been served to the petitioner and at this juncture, the High Court was not able to intervene. So the lower court could continue with the proceedings.

In reaction, Tharoor said that he would decide upon the future of course of action after consulting with his lawyers.

In his complaint, Joy Kaithrath alleged that Tharoor, after delivering the Hormeis Memorial Lecture in Kochi in December 2008, interrupted the national anthem, urging the audience to place their palms over their heart as people do in US instead of the Indian practice of standing in attention. Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Cherian K Kuriakose said there was a prima facie ground to proceed against Tharoor under section 3 of the Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act 1977, which prohibits discretion or insult to the national anthem.

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