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SC reprieve for Raj

MNS chief Raj Thackeray received a big relief on Tuesday when the SC stayed proceedings of eight complaints filed against him before magistrate courts in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand in connection with his inflammatory speeches targeting North Indians, reports Sunil Shivdasani.

india Updated: Apr 01, 2009 01:37 IST
Sunil Shivdasani

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray received a big relief on Tuesday when the Supreme Court stayed proceedings of eight complaints filed against him before magistrate courts in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand in connection with his inflammatory speeches targeting North Indians.

A bench comprising Chief Justice of India, S Balakrishnan, Justice P Sathasivan and Justice Ashok Kumar Ganguli also stayed execution of warrants issued by these courts and exempted him from personal appearance in the cases filed in the northern states where he faces threat to his life.

“The bench has asked the magistrates not to insist on his presence for hearings,” said Thackeray’s lawyer Sayaji Nangre.

Nangre said, Thackeray had moved the Apex Court seeking transferring the cases to Maharashtra or any other state as he faced threat to his life in those northern states.

Raising the sons-of-the-soil issue, Raj had started tirade against North Indians residing and coming to the city since February 2008.

He was arrested and released on bail, for the first time in connection with his allegedly offensive speeches in February 2008.

In October, he spent a night in police custody after northern leaders came together and pressurised the Centre to act.