A Mumbai court Thursday set aside the summons issued to West Bengal Chief Minister (CM) Mamata Banerjee in a criminal complaint filed against her by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Mumbai Secretary Vivekanand Gupta alleging that Banerjee disrespected the national anthem..Special judge RN Rokade, who hears matters concerning MPs and MLAs, said that there were procedural shortcomings in the summons issued and mandatory provisions of law had not been followed by the Magistrate."The Metropolitan Magistrate was not justified in issuing process against the accused (Banerjee) for the offence punishable under Section 3 of the Act", the 19-page order said.The Court, therefore, remanded the matter back to the Magistrate for him to freshly consider the complaint filed by BJP member Vivekanand Gupta after following due procedure of law. ”The interference by this Court is warranted from procedural aspects of the matter. In these circumstances, the proper course would be to remit the matter back to the Magistrate with direction to comply and adhere to the procedure mandated under Code of Criminal Procedure and then to afresh apply his mind to the facts of the case so as to determine whether a prima facie case to the offence as alleged against the accused in the said complaint, warranting issuance of the process, is made out, after providing an opportunity of hearing to the complainant,” the judge ordered..Gupta's grievance was that at the end of a public function at Yashwantrao Chavan Auditorium at Cuffe Parade in Mumbai, Banerjee had started singing the National Anthem in the sitting position.She later stood up and sung two verses of the anthem before abruptly stopping and leaving the venue.He claimed that Banerjee's acts amounted to "an insult and disrespect to the National Anthem" and an offence punishable under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act of 1971.Gupta filed a complaint before the Cuffe Parade police station, however after no action was taken by the police on it, he filed a complaint before the Metropolitan Magistrate at Sewree, Mumbai.Finding that there was sufficient evidence against Banerjee, the Metropolitan Magistrate at Sewree, Mumbai issued an order summoning Banerjee to appear on March 2, 2022..Banerjee then moved the special court seeking revision of the order by the Metropolitan Magistrate who had issued summons to her.The special judge stayed the summons in February last year and sought response from the complainant and State of Maharashtra.He also asked whether the function which Banerjee attended as CM was an official function and whether sanction was required to prosecute her..Advocate Majeed Memon, appearing for Banerjee, stated that the event was a meeting for improving interstate relations between Maharashtra and West Bengal.“The Chief Secretary of the State had accompanied Banerjee. So it was not a private meeting. Presence of Chief Secretary at the meeting shows that it was a government programme. Thus there should have been a prior sanction for her prosecution,” the lawyer contended. .Public prosecutor Sumesh Panjwani stated that the programme which was held on December 1 in 2021 was held to engage dialogues over socio-political issues and was merely a political meeting. He, however, placed on record communications exchanged between the two states intimating about her visit to Maharashtra.The complainant submitted that since Banerjee had not attended the event in her official capacity, a sanction was not required to issue summons.