The Kerala High Court today stayed for two weeks the framing of charges against Union Minister Shashi Tharoor in the national anthem case pending before a lower court here.
Passing interim order on a petition by Tharoor, Justice V.K. Mohanan directed the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court to defer the framing of charges for two weeks.
The order was issued on a petition by Tharoor seeking quashing of the proceedings pending in the magistrate court.
The Judge had yesterday reserved orders on Tharoor’s plea.
The magistrate court had earlier posted for tomorrow the case for framing charges against Tharoor.
The court also directed the Magistrate to file a report indicating whether the petitioner has filed application for discharge.
A case was registered against Tharoor on the basis of a private complaint by human rights activist Joy Kaitharath of Ernakulam in the magistrate court contending that he had committed offences under Section 3 of the Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act, 1977.
Tharoor’s counsel had submitted that his client never attempted to prevent singing of the National Anthem and hence the allegations of violation of provisions of Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act will not stand.
In his petition, Tharoor had claimed that private complaint was solely motivated by ‘political consideration’ and further continuance of the proceedings will only result in ’intense harassment’ of him.
The petitioner had stated that filing of complaint and further proceedings were ‘gross abuse’ of process of court.
The complainant had alleged that Tharoor had on December 16, 2008, interrupted the national anthem at a function of the Federal Bank here and had asked the audience to sing it by keeping the right hand on the left side of the chest like the Americans, instead of the attention posture.