A Congress member of legislative assembly (MLA), Ashok Jadhav, may face legal action for disrespecting the national anthem. During a public meeting in Mumbai, when the national anthem was being sung, the MLA was found buried into his mobile phone, reading an SMS.
The incident occurred on last month in Vile Parle (west), at a public meeting organized by Sudhakar Shetty. Shetty is a controversial figure who owned the well-known Deepa bar, where the famous beer bar dancer Tarannum used to perform. He also runs the Jai Maharashstra Marathi New Channel and is currently trying to redevelop Prem Nagar SRA co operative housing society. According to those present in the meeting, meant to inform local residents about the announcement of the society (Prem Nagar) president’s name, there were a number of well-known individuals present apart from Shetty and Jadhav. These included the local Shiv Sena leader, an SRA officer and many police officers including senior inspector Arun Bhagat. A criminal who was booked under the MRTP Act was also present on stage.
A dispute over the announcement of the society’s president’s name apparently led to a premature ending of the meeting. As the public started shouting slogans against Shetty, a man announcing the end of the meeting, appeared on stage and started singing the national anthem. But as the public and other guests stood up and started singing, Jadhav, the chief guest of the meeting, stood up on stage and started either reading or typing an SMS on his mobile phone. (CD available with ABI).
“I saw Jadhav was reading or sending an SMS to someone. He was insulting the national anthem. I will register FIR against him,” said Asad Patel who was present at the meeting. According to a criminal lawyer, Manoj Singh, “Jadhav has committed an offence under Section 3 of Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act, 1977, which prohibits desecration or insult to the national anthem.”
“I never chats on mobile. So there is no chance of any CD available in market against me,” said Jadhav.