Anti-Bihari remarks: HC quashes FIR, summons against Raj Thackeray

New Delhi, Sep 10: The Delhi High Court today quashed an FIR against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray for alleged inflammatory remarks against minorities from north India. Justice Suresh Kait also set aside a summon issued against him by a trial court on October 7 last year to face trial for making 'anti-Bihari' remarks.

"Admittedly on day of issuance of summon, there was no sanction from the government of India to prosecute petitioner (Raj Thackeray). Thus the magistrate has no locus to issue summon in absence of the sanction. Hence, the October 7, 2014 order of the magistrate is set aside.

Anti-Bihari remarks: HC quashes FIR, summons against Raj Thackeray.
"There is also no direct or indirect evidence in the chargesheet filed by the police against Raj Thackeray, thus the FIR lodged against him goes," the court said, adding "in absence of the sanction, the FIR no longer survives."

It further observed that the FIR was lodged under section 153A (promoting enmity between classes) and 153B (assertions prejudicial to national integration), besides many others which required prior sanction from the competent authority.

Besides this, there are several other FIRs pending before the Delhi High Court. The court, however, said the complainant could take steps if new materials emerge and proceed with the complaint before the trial court by leading an evidence in the matter.

The trial court order had come on a complaint by advocate Mithilesh Kumar Pandey who had referred to a rally in Mumbai addressed by Thackeray, in which he allegedly blamed Muslims from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand for the August 11, 2012 violence during protests against the Assam riots.

Acting on the court's direction an FIR was lodged in March 2013. However, the police in April 2014 filed closure report before the trial court, stating there was no evidence against Thackeray.

The complainant then filed a protest petition against the police report. Later the court allowed his plea and found that sections 153A and 153B of the IPC was made out against the MNS chief and had summoned him to face trial.

Challenging the trial court's decision, Thackeray claimed that the magistrate rejected the police's closure report and summoned him, which was "bad in law".


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