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Updated December 19th, 2023 at 21:03 IST

Court rejects discharge plea of MP Navneet Rana, her husband in case linked to Hanuman Chalisa row

The police had arrested the Ranas in April 2022 following their announcement to recite Hanuman Chalisa outside Uddhav Thackeray's private residence 'Matoshree'.

Manisha Roy
High Court
गुजरात हाई कोर्ट की टिप्पणी | Image:X
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Mumbai: A special court in the city rejected Independent Lok Sabha MP Navneet Rana’s and her MLA-husband Ravi Rana’s application seeking discharge in a 2022 case of resisting arrest and obstructing cops from performing their duty linked to a row over recitation of Hanuman Chalisa, observing prima facie there was enough evidence against them.

The couple has been booked under IPC section 353 (assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty) for allegedly resisting and obstructing cops, who visited their residence in suburban Khar for arresting them after they announced that they would recite the Hanuman Chalisa outside the private residence of then-Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in Bandra.

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Special judge of court for MP-MLA cases, R N Rokade, rejected the duo's plea, saying prima facie there was enough evidence against the applicants based on the statements of witnesses. Thus, crime under section 353 of the IPC is made out, noted the judge. Discharge is a stage that comes after a chargesheet has been filed in a case, but before charges are framed by the court concerned against an accused. Under this legal remedy, an accused is entitled to be discharged from a case if evidence provided to the court is not sufficient to prove the offence.

In the discharge plea filed through advocate Rizwan Merchant, the politicians, currently out on bail, claimed the Mumbai police's chargesheet against them has been "doctored and engineered" merely to malign and harm their reputation so that they can succumb to pressure tactics and political agendas. 

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The police had arrested the Ranas in April 2022 following their announcement to recite Hanuman Chalisa outside Thackeray's private residence 'Matoshree' in suburban Bandra, a move which angered workers of the undivided Shiv Sena and led to tension in the area. The couple had later dropped the plan, citing a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Mumbai.

(With PTI inputs)
 

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Published December 19th, 2023 at 21:03 IST

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