Hanuman Chalisa row: Navneet, Ravi Rana get bail in sedition case
Mumbai, May 04: Maharashtra's MP-MLA couple Navneet Rana and Ravi Rana, arrested over the Hanuman Chalisa row were granted by a specialmcourt in Mumbai today. They are allowed to be released on bail by the sessions court on a few conditions.
The couple were granted bail on surety of bonds worth Rs 50,000 each with one or more surety of the same amount. They have been directed to cooperate with the investigation. If the police call, they have to present themselves.
Another condition is that no hamering or tampering to be done with evidence. They are not allowed to give any sort of interview to the media.
Independent Lok Sabha MP Navneet Rana and her MLA-husband Ravi Rana were arrested on April 23.
Earlier in the day, Amravati MP Navneet Rana was taken to JJ Hospital in Mumbai from Byculla jail for her spondylosis treatment. According to Rana's lawyer, Navneet has spondylosis which increased due to continuously sitting and lying on the floor in jail.
The couple had moved the court seeking bail in an FIR registered by the Mumbai Police against them on charges of sedition and promoting enmity following their public declaration of reciting the Hanuman Chalisa outside Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's private residence 'Matoshree' in suburban Bandra.
Their bail plea said the call to recite the Hanuman Chalisa outside 'Matoshree' cannot be said to be aimed at promoting feelings of enmity or hatred among different group and this charge under IPC section 153(A) cannot be sustained.
There was no intention on the part of the applicants (Ranas) to instigate people or spread hatred by reciting the Hanuman Chalisa near the CM's private residence, their plea said.
"It is submitted that by no stretch of imagination, can the acts of the Applicants be stated to constitute the offence of sedition," the plea said.
Further, the Mumbai Police had issued a notice to the couple under section 149 of the CrPC (dealing with preventing cognizable offences) and the applicants had complied with their direction and not stepped out of their residence, it added.
Navneet Rana, the Lok Sabha MP from Amravati in eastern Maharashtra, and Ravi Rana, the MLA from Badnera, had eventually dropped their plan to recite the Hanuman Chalisa (hymns dedicated to Lord Hanuman) outside Thackeray's private residence citing the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Mumbai for an event.