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National Anthem Case
HC quashes proceedings against Murthy
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, August 14
Infosys chief mentor N R Narayana Murthy won a reprieve on the eve of Independence Day with the Karnataka High Court today quashing the proceedings initiated against him by a lower court for allegedly showing disrespect to the National Anthem.

Murthy had landed in a major controversy following his remarks during a visit of then President APJ Abdul Kalam to the Infosys campus in Mysore on April 8 this year when he claimed that it had been decided to play an instrumental version of the National Anthem rather than sing it so as not to ‘embarrass’ the foreign trainees present on the occasion. Murthy had claimed that the foreign trainees would be embarrassed because they would not have understood the words and would have been unable to join in the singing.

Justice K Bhaktavasala, who heard the case today, said neither Murthy nor his company had shown disrespect to the National Anthem. He said playing the national anthem with an instrument could not be construed as disrespect to the anthem. He said no case was made out against Murthy under the National Honour Act and due to this no case could be made against Murthy on this count.

Earlier, the Second Additional City Metropolitan Magistrate had issued summons to Narayana Murthy after a complaint filed by the Karnataka Rakshana Vakeelara Vedike. The Vedike had claimed that Murthy had insulted the national anthem through his remarks on April 8. Murthy had petitioned the High Court against the order.

Murthy’s advocate K K Venugopal while arguing the case said the anthem could be rendered either in instrumental form or by singing.

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