The Maharashtra government will not take action against Raj Thackeray, Balasaheb Thackeray and Narayan Rane for political vandalism involving their activists in four separate incidents. The reason: it has no evidence to link them to the incidents.
So said the government in an affidavit filed in Bombay High Court on Thursday, in response to the court’s query on why the state had not booked these politicians for abetting crime.
Government pleader Niranjan Pandit said: “We have taken action against those responsible. Now action doesn’t need to be taken against anybody else.”
Political workers of the Shiv Sena, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and Congress had allegedly indulged in violence and damaged public and private property. On the last occasion, the high court had asked if any action had been taken against top leaders.
In an affidavit filed on Thursday, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Chandra Iyengar said “during the investigation of these four cases, it was not revealed that top leaders of the parties instigated their followers or aided and abetted...Since no involvement of top leaders or conspiracy was revealed, no action of arrest or prosecution could be taken.”
Unhappy with the government’s position, the court ticked it off for not controlling vandalism by the Sena before and during the release of Shah Rukh Khan’s film, My Name Is Khan.
“Political leaders are becoming more arrogant day by day,” Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari said.
The court was hearing a suo motu proceeding initiated on the basis of a letter by former Mumbai police chief Julio Rebeiro, who referred to four incidents involving the Sena, the MNS and Rane’s supporters in January and February 2009.
The high court has directed the state to forward a proposal for setting up a Claims Commission within six weeks to get a move on recovering damages.