Police invokes sedition charges against Ranas, court remands them to 14-day judicial custody
However, when the police on Sunday produced the couple in the court, they failed to get custody of the two as the court remanded them to judicial custody for 14 days
Mumbai Mumbai police has invoked sedition charges against Independent Lok Sabha MP from Amaravati Navneet Kaur Rana and her husband MLA Ravi Rana, claiming that ‘their acts created hateful sentiments in the minds of citizens against the Maharashtra government.’
However, when the police on Sunday produced the couple in the court, they failed to get custody of the two as the court remanded them to judicial custody for 14 days.
According to the remand application submitted by the Khar police in the court, the couple announced that they would be reciting Hanuman Chalisa outside Matoshree, the private residence of chief minister Uddhav Thackrey, amid the rising tensions and protests from several political parties over the loudspeakers controversy.
The remand copy also mentioned that despite police issuing them a notice and asking them to not disrupt the law-and-order situation, they announced in front of media channels that they would be holding a peaceful protest at Matoshree. “The couple also knew about PM Modi’s visit to Mumbai on Sunday evening and still went ahead with the announcement, which could have ignited tensions,” the police submitted.
“Their acts created hateful sentiments in the minds of citizens against the lawfully-established Maharashtra government,” stated the remand application submitted in the court by inspector Shailesh Anchalwar of Khar police station.
Seeking seven-day custody of the couple, public prosecutor Pradip Gharat submitted that they wanted to find out who else was part of their plan and whether they had been incited by someone to make the announcement.
However, senior advocate Rizwan Merchant, who represented the couple, opposed the plea and questioned the applicability of sections mentioned in the FIR.
After hearing the arguments of both the sides, the magistrate remanded the couple to judicial custody. The defence immediately moved an application for the couple’s bail, which would be heard on April 29.
The police have also registered another FIR against the couple for obstructing policemen from performing their duty and resisting them from arresting the couple on Saturday. The police may approach the court seeking a production warrant to arrest them in the second case, a police source said.
Meanwhile, the Khar police arrested six Shiv Sena members on Sunday for issuing threats to the Rana couple. “We had registered a case against the Shiv Sainiks on Saturday for creating ruckus outside the residence of the Ranas. We are searching for other Shiv Sena workers who were part of the issue,” said a police officer from Khar station.
The Ranas were arrested by the Khar police under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC and sections 37(1) and 135 of the Bombay Police Act. Police claimed that they promoted enmity between the two communities over the Hanuman Chalisa row.
Later, police also added section 124A (whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards, the Government established by law).