The police on Monday extended by a week an order restricting Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray from making public statements that may disturb the peace.
With the original order served on Thackeray a fortnight ago reaching expiry date, and a sessions court ruling earlier in the day that the police would have to issue a new one if it wanted the restrictions to continue, a fresh order was issued to kick in from the stroke of midnight.
The order had been served on Thackeray after violence in the city when his Maharashtra Navnirman Sena unleashed a campaign against north Indian migrants.
Issued late in the night, the new order was still to be served on Thackeray at his Dadar home, at the time of going to the press.
Effective till March 3, the order restrains Thackeray from making any utterances detrimental to the peace and tranquillity of the city and the country.
Police Commissioner D.N. Jadhav said the previous order had been extended for another seven days by the police in exercise of the powers conferred under the Criminal Procedure Code.
Joint Police Commissioner (Law and Order) K.L. Prasad clarified that the restriction was only on inflammatory speeches.
“Nobody has stopped him from eating, drinking or speaking,” he said. “He has been directed not to make provocative statements or incite his workers to disturb the peace and tranquil atmosphere of the city and the country.”
Sources in the police, who requested anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media, said that according to law the police was authorised to extend the gag order for a maximum period of 60 days.
Earlier in the day, Sessions Judge S.N. Sardesai, calling the older gag order issued by the police partially incorrect in law as there was no proper time limit mentioned till which the order could be kept in force, had allowed the police to issue a fresh notice. The February 11 order said it was in force till February 25 or until such time as the police felt fit.