Non-appearance by the Shiv Sena Chief, Bal Thackeray, before the sessions court on Friday cost him Rs 500 as the court imposed a fine on him and adjourned the hearing of the case till August 21.
An NCP activist Munna Tripathi had filed a complaint last year alleging that the Sena leader had made made statements against the minority community during the party’s anniversary celebrations. The matter was initially being heard before the Andheri Metropolitan Court. Since Thackeray failed to appear before the court despite three summons, magistrate M. B. Date issued a bailable warrant against him on February 8, 2007.
Thackeray moved the session’s court asking for the warrant to be quashed, but did not appear for the hearing again, citing ill health. “On Friday we once again pleaded that the matter be adjourned as he was not in a position to come to court himself,” said advocate Rahul Narvekar. “The court then imposed a Rs 500 fine on us as per procedure,” he added.
Along with Thackeray, Tripathi had also named in his complaint, Sanjay Raut, a Rajya Sabha MP, and editor of the Sena’s mouthpiece Saamna for publishing Thackeray’s entire speech in the paper.
The current case is the only legal proceeding pending against the Shiv Sena supremo. He the past was alleged to have incited communal hatred during the riots of 1992-93 but was later discharged from the case.