Sashi Tharoor rules out out-of-court settlement in National Anthem case
Terming it 'politically motivated and for mere publicity,' Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor today ruled out the possibility of an out-of-court settlement in the case filed against him alleging disrespect to the national anthem by a human rights activist.
'Nothing remotely wrong happened and I have full respect for the National Anthem. My plea before the court was to watch the video clippings of the function and settle it,' he told newspersons here, reacting to the High court order allowing the lower court to continue the trial proceedings in the case.
The controversial incident took place on December 16, 2008, during a meeting organised in memory of K P Hormis by the Fedbank Hormis Memorial Foundation here, in which he allegedly asked the audience to sing the national Anthem by placing the right hand over the heart as Americans do instead of the attention posture Subsequently, the human rights activist filed a case alleging that Dr Tharoor, who was then an MP, had insulted the national anthem.
Stating that he has full respect for the court, Dr Tharoor said he was yet to decide whether to go for an appeal in the case or allow it to be dragged for few more years.
'The past four years have cost me a lot of money because the case was adjourned several times due to the absence of the witnesses. In the meantime, various settlements have been offered to me by the petitioners. But there is no question of going for an out-of-court settlement. I am a proud patriot and I am going to fight it till end,' he added.